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1938 hurricane on Cape Cod

A Buried Past

WHOI researchers are trying to better understand future storms by studying the past, such as the hurricane of 1938, which devastated Cape Cod and killed hundreds. As a hurricane passes, winds and waves push huge amounts of sand and other debris into shoreline ponds. By analyzing core samples of sediments from ponds or other coastal areas, such as blue holes, geologist Jeff Donnelly can uncover a history of storms that dates back thousands of years. The research helps shed light on how the ocean and atmosphere interact and what role changing climate has on the formation of hurricanes.

(Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)

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