Lane D. Philip

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D. Philip

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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Article
    Climate forcing of unprecedented intense-hurricane activity in the last 2000 years
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-02-23) Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Hawkes, Andrea D. ; Lane, D. Philip ; MacDonald, Dana ; Shuman, Bryan N. ; Toomey, Michael R. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Woodruff, Jonathan D.
    How climate controls hurricane variability has critical implications for society is not well understood. In part, our understanding is hampered by the short and incomplete observational hurricane record. Here we present a synthesis of intense-hurricane activity from the western North Atlantic over the past two millennia, which is supported by a new, exceptionally well-resolved record from Salt Pond, Massachusetts (USA). At Salt Pond, three coarse grained event beds deposited in the historical interval are consistent with severe hurricanes in 1991 (Bob), 1675, and 1635 C.E., and provide modern analogs for 32 other prehistoric event beds. Two intervals of heightened frequency of event bed deposition between 1400 and 1675 C.E. (10 events) and 150 and 1150 C.E. (23 events), represent the local expression of coherent regional patterns in intense-hurricane–induced event beds. Our synthesis indicates that much of the western North Atlantic appears to have been active between 250 and 1150 C.E., with high levels of activity persisting in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico until 1400 C.E. This interval was one with relatively warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the main development region (MDR). A shift in activity to the North American east coast occurred ca. 1400 C.E., with more frequent severe hurricane strikes recorded from The Bahamas to New England between 1400 and 1675 C.E. A warm SST anomaly along the western North Atlantic, rather than within the MDR, likely contributed to the later active interval being restricted to the east coast.
  • Article
    Assessing sedimentary records of paleohurricane activity using modeled hurricane climatology
    (American Geophysical Union, 2008-09-18) Woodruff, Jonathan D. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Emanuel, Kerry A. ; Lane, D. Philip
    Patterns of overwash deposition observed within back-barrier sediment archives can indicate past changes in tropical cyclone activity; however, it is necessary to evaluate the significance of observed trends in the context of the full range of variability under modern climate conditions. Here we present a method for assessing the statistical significance of patterns observed within a sedimentary hurricane-overwash reconstruction. To alleviate restrictions associated with the limited number of historical hurricanes affecting a specific site, we apply a recently published technique for generating a large number of synthetic storms using a coupled ocean-atmosphere hurricane model set to simulate modern climatology. Thousands of overwash records are generated for a site using a random draw of these synthetic hurricanes, a prescribed threshold for overwash, and a specified temporal resolution based on sedimentation rates observed at a particular site. As a test case we apply this Monte Carlo technique to a hurricane-induced overwash reconstruction developed from Laguna Playa Grande (LPG), a coastal lagoon located on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico in the northeastern Caribbean. Apparent overwash rates in the LPG overwash record are observed to be four times lower between 2500 and 1000 years B.P. when compared to apparent overwash rates during the last 300 years. However, probability distributions based on Monte Carlo simulations indicate that as much as 65% of this drop can be explained by a reduction in the temporal resolution for older sediments due to a decrease in sedimentation rates. Periods of no apparent overwash activity at LPG between 2500 and 3600 years B.P. and 500–1000 years B.P. are exceptionally long and are unlikely to occur (above 99% confidence) under the current climate conditions. In addition, breaks in activity are difficult to produce even when the hurricane model is forced to a constant El Niño state. Results from this study continue to support the interpretation that the western North Atlantic has exhibited significant changes in hurricane climatology over the last 5500 years.
  • Preprint
    A decadally-resolved paleohurricane record archived in the late Holocene sediments of a Florida sinkhole
    ( 2011-07) Lane, D. Philip ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Woodruff, Jonathan D. ; Hawkes, Andrea D.
    A 4500-year record of hurricane-induced storm surges is developed from sediment cores collected from a coastal sinkhole near Apalachee Bay, Florida. Recent deposition of sand layers in the upper sediments of the pond was found to be contemporaneous with significant, historic storm surges at the site modeled using SLOSH and the Best Track, post-1851 A.D. dataset. Using the historic portion of the record for calibration, paleohurricane deposits were identified by sand content and dated using radiocarbon-based age models. Marine-indicative foraminifera, some originating at least 5 km offshore, were present in several modern and ancient storm deposits. The presence and long-term preservation of offshore foraminifera suggest that this site and others like it may yield promising microfossil-based paleohurricane reconstructions in the future. Due to the sub-decadal (~ 7 year) resolution of the record and the site’s high susceptibility to hurricane-generated storm surges, the average, local frequency of recorded events, approximately 3.9 storms per century, is greater than that of previously published paleohurricane records from the region. The high incidence of recorded events permitted a time series of local hurricane frequency during the last five millennia to be constructed. 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. However, the rate at which smaller layers were deposited was relatively constant over the last five millennia. This may suggest that significant variability in hurricane frequency has occurred only in the highest magnitude events. The frequency of high magnitude events peaked near 6 storms per century between 2800 and 2300 years ago. High magnitude events were relatively rare with about 0-3 storms per century occurring between 1900 to 1600 years ago and between 400 to 150 years ago. A marked decline in the number of large storm deposits, which began around 600 years ago, has persisted through present with below average frequency over the last 150 years when compared to the preceding five millennia.
  • Article
    Heightened hurricane surge risk in northwest Florida revealed from climatological-hydrodynamic modeling and paleorecord reconstruction
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-07-21) Lin, Ning ; Lane, D. Philip ; Emanuel, Kerry A. ; Sullivan, Richard M. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.
    Historical tropical cyclone (TC) and storm surge records are often too limited to quantify the risk to local populations. Paleohurricane sediment records uncover long-term TC activity, but interpreting these records can be difficult and can introduce significant uncertainties. Here we compare and combine climatological-hydrodynamic modeling (including a method to account for storm size uncertainty), historical observations, and paleohurricane records to investigate local surge risk, using Apalachee Bay in northwest Florida as an example. The modeling reveals relatively high risk, with 100 year, 500 year, and “worst case” surges estimated to be about 6.3 m, 8.3 m, and 11.3 m, respectively, at Bald Point (a paleorecord site) and about 7.4 m, 9.7 m, and 13.3 m, respectively, at St. Marks (the head of the Bay), supporting the inference from paleorecords that Apalachee Bay has frequently suffered severe inundation for thousands of years. Both the synthetic database and paleorecords contain a much higher frequency of extreme events than the historical record; the mean return period of surges greater than 5 m is about 40 years based on synthetic modeling and paleoreconstruction, whereas it is about 400 years based on historical storm analysis. Apalachee Bay surge risk is determined by storms of broad characteristics, varies spatially over the area, and is affected by coastally trapped Kelvin waves, all of which are important features to consider when accessing the risk and interpreting paleohurricane records. In particular, neglecting size uncertainty may induce great underestimation in surge risk, as the size distribution is positively skewed. While the most extreme surges were generated by the uppermost storm intensities, medium intensity storms (categories 1–3) can produce large to extreme surges, due to their larger inner core sizes. For Apalachee Bay, the storms that induced localized barrier breaching and limited sediment transport (overwash regime; surge between 3 and 5 m) are most likely to be category 2 or 3 storms, and the storms that inundated the entire barrier and deposited significantly more coarse materials (inundation regime; surge > 5 m) are most likely to be category 3 or 4 storms.
  • Thesis
    Late Holocene hurricane activity and climate variability in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2011-09) Lane, D. Philip
    Hurricane activity in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico and its relationship to regional and large-scale climate variability during the Late Holocene is explored. A 4500-year record of hurricane-induced storm surges is developed from sediment cores collected from a coastal sinkhole near Apalachee Bay, Florida. Reconstructed hurricane frequency is shown to exhibit statistically significant variability with the greatest activity occurring between 2700 and 2400 years ago and the least activity between 1900 to 1600 years ago and after 600 years ago. Proxy records of stormrelevant climate variables contain similar timescales of variability and suggest both regional and large-scale mechanisms have influenced hurricane activity on centennial to millennial timescales. In particular, low-frequency migrations of the Loop Current may exercise control over regional hurricane activity by changing the thermal structure of the upper ocean and influencing the role of storm-induced upwelling on hurricane intensification. A new method for estimating the frequency of hurricanegenerated storm surges is presented and applied to Apalachee Bay, Florida. Multisite paleohurricane reconstructions from this region are developed, and the effects of geographic boundary conditions and temporal resolution on estimates of paleohurricane frequency are explored.
  • Article
    Historically unprecedented Northern Gulf of Mexico hurricane activity from 650 to 1250 CE
    (Nature Research, 2020-11-05) Rodysill, Jessica R. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Sullivan, Richard M. ; Lane, D. Philip ; Toomey, Michael R. ; Woodruff, Jonathan D. ; Hawkes, Andrea D. ; MacDonald, Dana ; D'Entremont, Nicole ; McKeon, Kelly ; Wallace, Elizabeth J. ; van Hengstum, Peter J.
    Hurricane Michael (2018) was the first Category 5 storm on record to make landfall on the Florida panhandle since at least 1851 CE (Common Era), and it resulted in the loss of 59 lives and $25 billion in damages across the southeastern U.S. This event placed a spotlight on recent intense (exceeding Category 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) hurricane landfalls, prompting questions about the natural range in variability of hurricane activity that the instrumental record is too short to address. Of particular interest is determining whether the frequency of recent intense hurricane landfalls in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is within or outside the natural range of intense hurricane activity prior to 1851 CE. In this study, we identify intense hurricane landfalls in northwest Florida during the past 2000 years based on coarse anomaly event detection from two coastal lacustrine sediment archives. We identified a historically unprecedented period of heightened storm activity common to four Florida panhandle localities from 650 to 1250 CE and a shift to a relatively quiescent storm climate in the GOM spanning the past six centuries. Our study provides long-term context for events like Hurricane Michael and suggests that the observational period 1851 CE to present may underrepresent the natural range in landfalling hurricane activity.
  • Article
    Tropical cyclone wind speed constraints from resultant storm surge deposition : a 2500 year reconstruction of hurricane activity from St. Marks, FL
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-08-22) Brandon, Christine M. ; Woodruff, Jonathan D. ; Lane, D. Philip ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.
    Recent work suggests that the patterns of intense (≥category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale) hurricane strikes over the last few millennia might differ from that of overall hurricane activity during this period. Prior studies typically rely on assigning a threshold storm intensity required to produce a sedimentological overwash signal at a particular coastal site based on historical analogs. Here, we improve on this approach by presenting a new inverse-model technique that constrains the most likely wind speeds required to transport the maximum grain size within resultant storm deposits. As a case study, the technique is applied to event layers observed in sediments collected from a coastal sinkhole in northwestern Florida. We find that (1) simulated wind speeds for modern deposits are consistent with the intensities for historical hurricanes affecting the site, (2) all deposits throughout the ∼2500 year record are capable of being produced by hurricanes, and (3) a period of increased intense hurricane frequency is observed between ∼1700 and ∼600 years B.P. and decreased intense storm frequency is observed from ∼2500 to ∼1700 and ∼600 years B.P. to the present. This is consistent with prior reconstructions from nearby sites. Changes in the frequency of intense hurricane strikes may be related to the degree of penetration of the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico.