Title page for ETD etd-04022008-111035

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Knowles, Jason Thomas
URN etd-04022008-111035
Title A 5000-Year History of Caribbean Environmental Change and Hurricane Activity Reconstructed from Coastal Lake Sediments of the West Indies
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kam-biu Liu Committee Chair
Mike Leitner Committee Member
Robert Rohli Committee Member
Steve Namikas Committee Member
Laurie Anderson Dean's Representative
  • Paleotempestology
  • Hurricanes
  • Bermuda High
Date of Defense 2008-03-27
Availability unrestricted
A ~5000 yr history of modern and prehistoric hurricane landfall and environmental change has been reconstructed from coastal lake sediments of the northern West Indies. Hurricane overwash layers and environmental shifts were identified by changes in biological and sedimentary stratigraphies, core lithology, and loss-on-ignition techniques. 14C and 137Cs were used to establish a chronology of events. Many hurricane-induced overwash layers were identified within the lake sediments. Evidence indicates distinct periods of temporal shifts in hurricane activity for the Northern Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Barbuda, and Acklins Island, Bahamas, providing the first paleotempestological records for the region. The northern Caribbean record appears to exhibit an anti-phase relationship with the results from the U.S. Gulf coast, in apparent agreement with the Bermuda High hypothesis. Comparison with studies basin-wide indicates three temporal shifts in basin-wide activity occurring at ~1000, 2500, and 3500 yr BP.
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