Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Geological Sciences

First Advisor

Lizzy Trower

Second Advisor

Katherine Lininger

Third Advisor

Brian Hynek


The study of modern hurricane deposits on a carbonate platform is useful both in identifying the fingerprint of ancient hurricane deposits in similar geological settings and gaining a deeper understanding of future depositional markers produced by major storm events. Little Ambergris Cay is a 6 km long uninhabited island on the Caicos platform in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hurricane Irma passed directly over Little Ambergris Cay on Sept 7, 2017, making it an ideal location to study the deposits formed during the hurricane. Observations of hurricane deposition on Little Ambergris Cay were compared and contrasted to previous studies on washover fans and used to develop a framework for expected depositional trends in both modern and ancient carbonate platform settings. Samples and drone images were collected in March and July 2018 (6 and 10 months after Hurricane Irma, respectively). Samples were collected from multiple hurricane deposits, including washover fans in the interior of the island and lobes at the mouths of tidal channels. All samples were rinsed, dried, and analyzed using a Camsizer to examine variations in grain size, roundness, and sorting in relation to depth and location on the island. Aerial drone imaging of the island helped to establish the changes in position of the sediments associated with current and wind re-working. Examining internal structures and sediment trends of the washover fans allowed for the construction of a template for hurricane deposits in a high-energy storm event on a carbonate platform.

Included in

Sedimentology Commons