Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG
HOME > My Amsci > Restricted Access

Uncovering Prehistoric Hurricane Activity



Restricted Access The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.


If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.

If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:



Abstract:

Figure 3. Sediment cores in coastal lakes and Rodanthe, NCClick to Enlarge Image

Category-1 hurricanes strike sufficiently often that one can estimate their frequency by consulting the historical record. But large, truly catastrophic hurricanes (Category 4 or 5) take place so seldom that meteorologists cannot accurately gauge the likelihood that such a storm will occur in any particular spot. One way around this difficulty is to examine the geological record for evidence of these devastating tropical storms. The author and his colleagues have done so using sediment cores extracted from coastal lakes at various places in the United States. Examination of this material shows that the last millennium has been a relatively quiet time for the Gulf coast and an especially active period for the Northeast. Paleotempestologists are also examining other forms of evidence as well in an effort to chart ancient storm activity for sites throughout the world.


Subscribe to American Scientist