The generation and preservation of multiple hurricane beds in the northern Gulf of Mexico

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Cores collected from Mississippi Sound and the inner shelf of the northeast Gulf of Mexico have been examined using 210Pb and 137Cs geochronology, X-radiography, granulometry, and a multi-sensor core logger. The results indicate that widespread event layers were probably produced by an unnamed hurricane in 1947 and by Hurricane Camille in 1969. Physical and biological post-depositional processes have reworked the event layers, producing regional discontinuities and localized truncation, and resulting in an imperfect and biased record of sedimentary processes during the storms. The oceanographic and sedimentological processes that produced these event beds have been simulated using a suite of numerical models: (1) a parametric cyclone wind model; (2) the SWAN third-generation wave model; (3) the ADCIRC 2D finite-element hydrodynamic model; (4) the Princeton Ocean Model; (5) a coupled wave-current bottom boundary layer-sedimentation model; and (6) a model for bed preservation potential as a function of burial rate and bioturbation rate. Simulated cores from the Mississippi Sound region are consistent with the observed stratigraphy and geochronology on both the landward and seaward sides of the barrier islands. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Marine Geology

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