Park, L.E., 2012. Comparing two long-term hurricane frequency and intensity records from San Salvador Island, Bahamas.
Climate and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) patterns are thought to be the main drivers of hurricane occurrence and intensity, based on modern and historical data. However, a paucity of data exist examining longer-term hurricane records, particularly the variability of such records from geographically distinct locations. Two long-term records from San Salvador Island, Bahamas, were recovered from sediment cores and compared, identifying storm-activity trends, periods of hurricane hyperactivity, and Caribbean dryness. The sedimentological records from both Clear Pond and Storr's Lake (San Salvador Island, Bahamas) indicate that the hurricane recurrence interval from the western side of the island is comparable to the overall rate reported for the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean region but is less than the rate recorded from the eastern part of the island, suggesting that records can vary, even from a single island. The records from both lakes indicate external drivers for hurricane activity, most notably the influence of ENSO and longer-term climate change and support the previously documented hurricane hyperactivity period (1000–3400 YBP) in the Gulf of Mexico. The Clear Pond, Bahamas, record documents a major facies shift from laminated mud to bioturbated sand at approximately 540 AD (1460 YBP), corresponding to the end of a Caribbean dry period.