LATE HOLOCENE NORTH ATLANTIC HURRICANE ACTIVITY (Invited Presentation)
In the 4500-year record of hurricane-induced storm surges from Mullet Pond near Apalachee Bay, Florida, variability in the frequency of the largest storm layers was found to be greater than what would likely occur by chance alone, with intervals of both anomalously high and low storm frequency identified. The frequency of high magnitude events peaked near 6 storms/century between 2700 and 2400 years B1950 and about 4 storms/century about 700 years B1950. The marked decline in the number of large storm deposits, which began around 600 years B1950, has persisted through present with below average frequency over the last 150 years when compared to the preceding 4000 years.
All study sites indicate above average activity between 1500 and 900 years B1950; however, at other times the records are out of phase. This anti-phasing of intense hurricane activity between the East and Gulf coasts is likely not simply a function of changing hurricane tracks given the variability is in the most intense storms. Thus, regional controls on the frequency of intense hurricanes (e.g., loop current penetration in the Gulf of Mexico) likely also have driven spatial variability in Atlantic paleohurricane records.