Coastal zones are most vulnerable to natural disasters due to increased population density and extreme events under a changing climate. Our coasts and cities are being threatened by enhanced sea level rise, storm activity, and along tectonically active margins by earthquakes and tsunamis. In our coastal geohazards group we study the long-term record of storms along the southern shore of Long Island and in Long Island Sound and of earthquakes and tsunamis along subduction and transform margins.
Storms are common processes that remobilize and transport large volumes of sediments, modifying the seafloor and coastlines. Previous studies have documented hurricanes passing through the Long Island region with some particularly devastating ones such as Super Storm Sandy in 2013. The changing climatic conditions and warming of the oceans as reported by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 demonstrates that storms can occur more frequently with stronger winds, waves and larger storm surges. The Long Island coasts are heavily populated. We therefore need to understand the record of past events to better understand the future.
EARTHQUAKES AND TSUNAMIS
Earthquakes and tsunamis are huge geological events that remobilize sediment and leave distinct signatures in the geologic record by a wide range of processes that depends on both environment and earthquake characteristics. Understanding them has the potential of greatly expanding the record of past earthquakes, which is critical for geohazard analysis.
Climate is rapidly changing as a result of anthropogenic activities and the best way to evaluate these changes is to understand what climate was in the past. For this purpose we are studying the paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic changes along coastal systems in western Australia, the Marmara Sea in Turkey and the south east coast of New Zealand.