Winkler Tyler S.

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Tyler S.

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  • Article
    Revising evidence of hurricane strikes on Abaco Island (the Bahamas) over the last 700 years
    (Nature Research, 2020-10-06) Winkler, Tyler S. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Wallace, Elizabeth J. ; Sullivan, Richard M. ; MacDonald, Dana ; Albury, Nancy A.
    The northern Bahamas have experienced more frequent intense-hurricane impacts than almost anywhere else in the Atlantic since 1850 CE. In 2019, category 5 (Saffir-Simpson scale) Hurricane Dorian demonstrated the destructive potential of these natural hazards. Problematically, determining whether high hurricane activity levels remained constant through time is difficult given the short observational record (< 170 years). We present a 700-year long, near-annually resolved stratigraphic record of hurricane passage near Thatchpoint Blue Hole (TPBH) on Abaco Island, The Bahamas. Using longer sediment cores (888 cm) and more reliable age-control, this study revises and temporally expands a previous study from TPBH that underestimated the sedimentation rate. TPBH records at least 13 ≥ category 2 hurricanes per century between 1500 to 1670 CE, which exceeds the 9 ≥ category 2 hurricanes per century within 50 km of TPBH since 1850 CE. The eastern United States also experienced frequent hurricanes from 1500 to 1670 CE, but frequency was depressed elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. This suggests that spatial heterogeneity in Atlantic hurricane activity since 1850 CE could have persisted throughout the last millennium. This heterogeneity is impacted by climatic and stochastic forcing, but additional high-resolution paleo-hurricane reconstructions are required to assess the mechanisms that impact regional variability.
  • Article
    Intense hurricane activity over the past 1500 years at South Andros Island, the Bahamas
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-10-19) Wallace, Elizabeth J. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Wiman, Charlotte ; Sullivan, Richard M. ; Winkler, Tyler S. ; D'Entremont, Nicole ; Toomey, Michael R. ; Albury, Nancy A.
    Hurricanes cause substantial loss of life and resources in coastal areas. Unfortunately, historical hurricane records are too short and incomplete to capture hurricane‐climate interactions on multi‐decadal and longer timescales. Coarse‐grained, hurricane‐induced deposits preserved in blue holes in the Caribbean can provide records of past hurricane activity extending back thousands of years. Here we present a high resolution record of intense hurricane events over the past 1500 years from a blue hole on South Andros Island on the Great Bahama Bank. This record is corroborated by shorter reconstructions from cores collected at two nearby blue holes. The record contains coarse‐grained event deposits attributable to known historical hurricane strikes within age uncertainties. Over the past 1500 years, South Andros shows evidence of four active periods of hurricane activity. None of these active intervals occurred in the past 163 years. We suggest that Intertropical Convergence Zone position modulates hurricane activity on the island based on a correlation with Cariaco Basin titanium concentrations. An anomalous gap in activity on South Andros Island in the early 13th century corresponds to a period of increased volcanism. The patterns of hurricane activity reconstructed from South Andros Island closely match those from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico but are anti‐phased with records from New England. We suggest that either changes in local environmental conditions (e.g., SSTs) or a northeastward shift in storm tracks can account for the increased activity in the western North Atlantic when the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern Caribbean are less active.
  • Article
    Hydroclimate dipole drives multi-centennial variability in the western tropical North Atlantic Margin during the middle and late Holocene
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-07-05) Sullivan, Richard M. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Coats, Sloan ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Tamalavage, Anne E. ; Winkler, Tyler S. ; Albury, Nancy A.
    Meridional shifts of the North Atlantic Subtropical High (NASH) western edge create a dipole that drives hydroclimate variability in the southeastern United States and Caribbean region. Southwest displacements suppress rainfall in the southern Caribbean. Northwest displacements drive southeast United States and northern Caribbean drying. Projections for the 21st century suggest a more meridionally displaced NASH, which jeopardizes Caribbean island communities dependent on rain-fed aquifers. While recent work indicates that Atlantic and Pacific Ocean-atmosphere variability influenced the NASH during the instrumental period, little is known about NASH behavior and subsequent hydroclimate responses over longer timescales. To address this limitation, we developed a ∼6000-years long rainfall record through the analysis of calcite raft deposits archived within sediments from a coastal sinkhole in the northeast Bahamas (Abaco Island). Increased (decreased) calcite raft deposition provides evidence for increased (decreased) rainfall driven by NASH variability. We use simulations from the Community Earth System Model to support this interpretation. These simulations improve our understanding of NASH behavior on timescales congruous with the reconstruction and suggest an important role for the state of the Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, model simulations and a compilation of regional hydroclimate reconstructions reveal that the NASH-driven dipole dominates northern and southern Caribbean rainfall on centennial timescales. These results bring Holocene Caribbean hydroclimate variability into sharper focus while providing important context for present and future changes to regional climate. Additionally, this study highlights the need for improved future predictions of the state of the Pacific Ocean to best inform water scarcity mitigation strategies for at-risk Caribbean communities.
  • Article
    1,050 years of hurricane strikes on Long Island in the Bahamas
    (American Geophysical Union, 2016-02-16) Wallace, Elizabeth J. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Winkler, Tyler S. ; McKeon, Kelly ; MacDonald, Dana ; D'Entremont, Nicole ; Sullivan, Richard M. ; Woodruff, Jonathan D. ; Hawkes, Andrea D. ; Maio, Christopher V.
    Sedimentary records of past hurricane activity indicate centennial-scale periods over the past millennium with elevated hurricane activity. The search for the underlying mechanism behind these active hurricane periods is confounded by regional variations in their timing. Here, we present a new high resolution paleohurricane record from The Bahamas with a synthesis of published North Atlantic records over the past millennium. We reconstruct hurricane strikes over the past 1,050 years in sediment cores from a blue hole on Long Island in The Bahamas. Coarse-grained deposits in these cores date to the close passage of seven hurricanes over the historical interval. We find that the intensity and angle of approach of these historical storms plays an important role in inducing storm surge near the site. Our new record indicates four active hurricane periods on Long Island that conflict with published records on neighboring islands (Andros and Abaco Island). We demonstrate these three islands do not sample the same storms despite their proximity, and we compile these reconstructions together to create the first regional compilation of annually resolved paleohurricane records in The Bahamas. Integrating our Bahamian compilation with compiled records from the U.S. coastline indicates basin-wide increased storminess during the Medieval Warm Period. Afterward, the hurricane patterns in our Bahamian compilation match those reconstructed along the U.S. East Coast but not in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. This disconnect may result from shifts in local environmental conditions in the North Atlantic or shifts in hurricane populations from straight-moving to recurving storms over the past millennium.
  • Article
    Unique habitat for benthic foraminifera in subtidal blue holes on carbonate platforms
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-12-22) Little, Shawna N. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Beddows, Patricia A. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Winkler, Tyler S. ; Albury, Nancy A.
    Dissolution of carbonate platforms, like The Bahamas, throughout Quaternary sea-level oscillations have created mature karst landscapes that can include sinkholes and off-shore blue holes. These karst features are flooded by saline oceanic waters and meteoric-influenced groundwaters, which creates unique groundwater environments and ecosystems. Little is known about the modern benthic meiofauna, like foraminifera, in these environments or how internal hydrographic characteristics of salinity, dissolved oxygen, or pH may influence benthic habitat viability. Here we compare the total benthic foraminiferal distributions in sediment-water interface samples collected from <2 m water depth on the carbonate tidal flats, and the two subtidal blue holes Freshwater River Blue Hole and Meredith’s Blue Hole, on the leeward margin of Great Abaco Island, The Bahamas. All samples are dominated by miliolid foraminifera (i.e., Quinqueloculina and Triloculina), yet notable differences emerge in the secondary taxa between these two environments that allows identification of two assemblages: a Carbonate Tidal Flats Assemblage (CTFA) vs. a Blue Hole Assemblage (BHA). The CTFA includes abundant common shallow-water lagoon foraminifera (e.g., Peneroplis, Rosalina, Rotorbis), while the BHA has higher proportions of foraminifera that are known to tolerate stressful environmental conditions of brackish and dysoxic waters elsewhere (e.g., Pseudoeponides, Cribroelphidium, Ammonia). We also observe how the hydrographic differences between subtidal blue holes can promote different benthic habitats for foraminifera, and this is observed through differences in both agglutinated and hyaline fauna. The unique hydrographic conditions in subtidal blue holes make them great laboratories for assessing the response of benthic foraminiferal communities to extreme environmental conditions (e.g., low pH, dysoxia).
  • Article
    Northeast Yucatan hurricane activity during the Maya Classic and Postclassic periods
    (Nature Research, 2022-11-22) Sullivan, Richard M. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Tamalavage, Anne E. ; Winkler, Tyler S. ; Little, Shawna N. ; Mejia-Ortiz, Luis ; Reinhardt, Eduard G. ; Meacham, Sam ; Schumacher, Courtney ; Korty, Robert
    The collapse of the Maya civilization in the late 1st/early 2nd millennium CE has been attributed to multiple internal and external causes including overpopulation, increased warfare, and environmental deterioration. Yet the role hurricanes may have played in the fracturing of Maya socio-political networks, site abandonment, and cultural reconfiguration remains unexplored. Here we present a 2200 yearlong hurricane record developed from sediment recovered from a flooded cenote on the northeastern Yucatan peninsula. The sediment archive contains fine grain autogenic carbonate interspersed with anomalous deposits of coarse carbonate material that we interpret as evidence of local hurricane activity. This interpretation is supported by the correlation between the multi-decadal distribution of recent coarse beds and the temporal distribution of modern regional landfalling storms. In total, this record allows us to reconstruct the variable hurricane conditions impacting the northern lowland Maya during the Late Preclassic, Classic, and Postclassic Periods. Strikingly, persistent above-average hurricane frequency between ~ 700 and 1450 CE encompasses the Maya Terminal Classic Phase, the declines of Chichén Itza, Cobá, and subsequent rise and fall of the Mayapán Confederacy. This suggests that hurricanes may have posed an additional environmental stressor necessary of consideration when examining the Postclassic transformation of northern Maya polities. Author Correction:
  • Article
    A hydraulic modelling approach to study flood sediment deposition in floodplain lakes
    (Wiley, 2022-11-21) Reinders, Joeri B. ; Sullivan, Richard M. ; Winkler, Tyler S. ; van Hengstum, Peter J. ; Beighley, R. Edward ; Munoz, Samuel E.
    Abstract Abandoned river channels on alluvial floodplains represent areas where sediments, organic matter, and pollutants preferentially accumulate during overbank flooding. Theoretical models describing sedimentation in floodplain lakes recognize the different stages in their evolution, where the threshold for hydrological connectivity increases in older lakes as a plug-bar develops. Sedimentary archives collected from floodplain lakes are widely used to reconstruct ecological and hydrological dynamics in riverine settings, but how floodplain lake evolution influences flow velocities and sedimentation patterns on an event scale remains poorly understood. Here we combine sediment samples collected in and around a floodplain lake with hydraulic modelling simulations to examine inundation, flow velocity, and sedimentation patterns in a floodplain lake along the Trinity River at Liberty, Texas. We focus our analyses on an extreme flood event associated with the landfall of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and develop a series of alternative lake bathymetries to examine the influence of floodplain lake evolution on flow velocity patterns during the flood. We find that sediments deposited in the lake after the Hurricane Harvey flood become thinner and finer with distance from the tie-channel in accordance with simulated flow velocities that drop with distance from the tie-channel. Flow velocity simulations from model runs with alternative plug-bar geometries and lake depths imply that sedimentation patterns will shift as the lake evolves and infills. The integration of sediment sampling and hydraulic model simulations provides a method to understand the processes that govern sedimentation in floodplain lakes during flood events that will improve interpretations of individual events in sedimentary archives from these contexts.