Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 45-6
Presentation Time: 10:05 AM


TOOMEY, Michael1, D'ENTREMONT, Nicole2, ARMSTRONG, Emma3, CRONIN, Thomas1 and DONNELLY, Jeffrey2, (1)Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA 20192, (2)Geology & Geophysics Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, (3)College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Model simulations project hurricane potential intensity across much of the North Atlantic will increase by the end of this century; however, the short length (~70 yrs) of robust instrumental records and the stochastic nature of storm landfalls greatly limits our ability to identify shifts in storm regime from unforced, natural, variability. Evidence of prehistoric storm activity has previously been identified in back-barrier marshes, tree rings, stalagmites and other sedimentary archives allowing us to greatly extend historic observations—but key spatial gaps persist. In particular, few hurricane reconstructions exist along the highly developed mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. Here we use a suite of well-dated (14C, 210Pb, pollen) sediment cores collected from Pocomoke Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, to address the following questions: (1) are coarse-grained sediments deposited at this site during intense hurricane strikes and, if so, (2) what has been the frequency of storm landfalls at this site over the last millennium? (3) Which environmental drivers may have contributed to increased storm activity near Chesapeake Bay and, possibly, along the U.S. East Coast?