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"Tempestology" redirects here. For the generalized study of storms, see meteorology. For the origins of storms and tropical cyclones, see cyclogenesis and tornadogenesis.
Paleotempestology is the study of past tropical cyclone activity by means of geological proxies as well as historical documentary records. The term was coined by Kerry Emanuel.


Sedimentary proxy records

Examples of proxies include overwash deposits preserved in the sediments of coastal lakes and marshes, microfossil such as foraminifera, pollen, diatoms, dinoflagellates, phytoliths contained in coastal sediments, wave-generated or flood-generated sedimentary structures or deposits (called tempestites) in marine or lagoonal sediments, storm wave deposited coral shingle, shell, sand and shell and pure sand shore parallel ridges.

The method of using overwash deposits preserved in coastal lake and marsh sediments is adopted from earlier studies of paleotsunami deposits. Both storms and tsunamis leave very similar if not identical sedimentary deposits in coastal lakes and marshes and differentiating between the two in a sedimentary record can be difficult. The first studies to examine prehistoric records of tropical cyclones occurred in Australia and the South Pacific during the late 1970s and early 1980s. These studies examined...
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