Presentation Title

Assessing Erosion Patterns of Hurricane Maria on the Caribbean Island of Dominica

Project Collaborators

Lee Corbett (UVM/NSF Community Cosmogenic Facility Manager), Mae Kate Campbell (UVM Geology Graduate Student), Amanda Schmidt (Oberlin College Collaborating Mentor), Marcus Hill (Oberlin College), Ely Bordt (Oberlin College), Cole Jimerson (The College of Wooster)

Time

9:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Engineering & Physical Sciences

Abstract

Extreme storms, such as hurricanes, cause widespread erosion throughout a landscape. Precipitation and related surface processes, including landslides, debris flow, and tree throws, move sediment from the land and into the ocean via streams and rivers.Here, we examine erosion before and after Hurricane Maria on the Caribbean island of Dominica, a tropical setting where erosion rates remain unknown. River sediment was collected before (July 2017) and after (January 2018) Hurricane Maria. We analyze the long-lived cosmogenic nuclides 10Be, both meteoric and in situ, to determine isotope concentration and calculate basin-scale erosion rates. Analyzing the samples before and after the storm allows us to document the temporal variance of these nuclides. The before and after 10Be concentrations (in situ and meteoric) and erosion rates can be compared with landscape factors affected by the hurricane erosion (i.e. slope, watershed area, and effective watershed elevation) to assess patterns across the island. Applying cosmogenic nuclides to sediment allows us to learn how the geomorphology of Dominica responds to large storms under a temporal replication lens and the method can be applied to other islands.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Paul Bierman

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Geology

Primary Research Category

Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Assessing Erosion Patterns of Hurricane Maria on the Caribbean Island of Dominica

Extreme storms, such as hurricanes, cause widespread erosion throughout a landscape. Precipitation and related surface processes, including landslides, debris flow, and tree throws, move sediment from the land and into the ocean via streams and rivers.Here, we examine erosion before and after Hurricane Maria on the Caribbean island of Dominica, a tropical setting where erosion rates remain unknown. River sediment was collected before (July 2017) and after (January 2018) Hurricane Maria. We analyze the long-lived cosmogenic nuclides 10Be, both meteoric and in situ, to determine isotope concentration and calculate basin-scale erosion rates. Analyzing the samples before and after the storm allows us to document the temporal variance of these nuclides. The before and after 10Be concentrations (in situ and meteoric) and erosion rates can be compared with landscape factors affected by the hurricane erosion (i.e. slope, watershed area, and effective watershed elevation) to assess patterns across the island. Applying cosmogenic nuclides to sediment allows us to learn how the geomorphology of Dominica responds to large storms under a temporal replication lens and the method can be applied to other islands.