Floods, Droughts, and Tropical Cyclones: Investigating Climate Extremes through Variations in Lacustrine Sedimentology

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Overview

Title
Floods, Droughts, and Tropical Cyclones: Investigating Climate Extremes through Variations in Lacustrine Sedimentology
Contributors
Rodysill, Jessica Rose (creator)
Russell, James (Director)
Donnelly, Jeffrey (Director)
Herbert, Timothy (Reader)
Prell, Warren (Reader)
Tullis, Jan (Reader)
Rodbell, Donald (Reader)
Brown University. Geological Sciences (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0DF6PKF
Copyright Date
2014
Abstract
Recent climate extremes, including floods, droughts, and hurricanes, have had devastating effects worldwide, driving new research aimed at developing better prediction of such events. Understanding how climate extreme intensity and frequency are influenced by changing mean climate conditions is essential to more accurately predict how their behavior will differ under a range of future climate conditions. This thesis focuses on reconstructing flooding and drought in East Java, Indonesia and tropical cyclones and flooding in northwest Florida, United States using lake sediment archives. Millennial-scale paleohydrologic variations in East Java are consistent with a strengthening of the Indonesian monsoon and southward migration of the ITCZ during the past millennium, while decadal-scale droughts reflect multi-decadal weakening of the Walker Circulation. I demonstrate that the strongest drought of the last millennium in East Java occurred between 1790 and 1860 CE and was the result of several closely-spaced strong El Niño events followed by several large volcanic eruptions. I argue that centennial-scale variations in rainfall-driven runoff in East Java likely reflect La Niña activity and suggest that El Niño and La Niña activity co-varied on centennial timescales over the last millennium, with higher activity occurring during the MCA relative to the LIA. I reconstructed tropical cyclone activity in northwest Florida and demonstrate that there are similarities between storm histories at this study site and in other northern Gulf of Mexico hurricane reconstructions that were lacking between the preexisting records in the region. My contribution to the research community supports preexisting hypotheses that proposed the Loop Current influences intense hurricane variability within the Gulf of Mexico. I introduce a new record of lake-level changes in northwest Florida that identifies a mid-Holocene drought, similar to lake-level reconstructions in northeastern United States. I reconstructed a Holocene-length record of river floods in northwest Florida from sinkhole lake sediments situated in the floodplain, which indicates that major flooding was less frequent during the mid-Holocene drought and suggests water table depth may be important in controlling extreme flooding.
Keywords
Climate
Climatology
Lakes
Sedimentology
Floods
Droughts
Hurricanes
Notes
Thesis (Ph.D. -- Brown University (2014)
Extent
19, 284 p.

Citation

Rodysill, Jessica Rose, "Floods, Droughts, and Tropical Cyclones: Investigating Climate Extremes through Variations in Lacustrine Sedimentology" (2014). Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0DF6PKF

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