Hurricane HistoryJuly 5, 2017
Alexandra Labella, a guest student in WHOI geologist Jeff Donnelly’s lab, collects a sample of sediments cored from a blue hole in Caicos Island. Blue holes are sinkholes that formed on land during the Ice Age when sea levels were lower than today. As sea levels rose, the holes were flooded and are now underwater. Today, blue holes serve as a trap for sediments and debris that passing hurricanes leave behind. Donnelly analyzes the sediments to create a timeline of past hurricanes—this core provided a record of intense hurricane activity that stretched 1,400 years.(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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