Paleohurricanes hit Florida frequently in the past
Mud reveals hurricane activity thousands of years ago
Sediments left behind from Paleohurricanes show how often storms like Irma occurred in our area dating back thousands of years.
Scientists see dramatic changes in the timeline of paleohurricanes which are storms that took place before modern records.
When hurricane Irma blasted through the Bahamas and into Florida it stirred up a record of information that will be preserved for millennia on the bottom of the seafloor.
Irma was strong enough to suck the water out of the bay at Long Island in the Bahamas.
Hurricanes have hit this same location over the past two hundred years hurricanes an average six times per century.
Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution use the sediment record to see the same level of high activity happened from the 1400's to 1600's. Then hurricanes virtually shut down in the 17th century with only one or possibly two hurricane strikes.
Another collection site closer to Jacksonville in Apalachee Bay reveals an average of 4 recorded hurricanes per century.
Sediment at this sinkhole has preserved the paleohurricane record to 5000 years ago and it shows large swings in frequency.
During this time, there have been fewer average storms over the last 150 years (0-3) compared to 2800 to 2300 years ago when nearly 6 storms occurred per century.
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