Dickey et al.: Sediment Resuspension in the Wakes of Hurricanes Edouard and Hortense


A unique set of physical and optical observations of sediment resuspension events was obtained during the passage of two hurricanes, Edouard and Hortense. The eyes of these hurricanes passed within approximately 110 and 350 km of our study site on a continental shelf (~100 km south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts), within a two week period in the fall of 1996. The sediment resuspension processes associated with each of the hurricanes are shown to differ primarily because of the separation distances between the eyes of the hurricanes and the observational site (e.g., local versus remote forcing). Sediments were resuspended to more than 30 m above the ocean bottom during both hurricanes. Observed particle size distributions were shifted toward smaller scales during Hurricane Edouard because of flocculate disaggregation caused by high levels of localized shear and turbulence.