Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 13 Issue 03

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Volume 13, No. 3
Pages 93 - 99

A Perfect Storm: Formation and Potential for Preservation of Storm Beds on the Continental Shelf

Patricia Wiberg
First Paragraph

Consider a coastal storm that mobilizes and transports enough sediment on the continental shelf to produce a distinctive deposit in the seabed that escapes significant reworking before it is buried by subsequent sediment accumulation. The characteristics of the deposit, or storm bed, such as thickness, grain-size distribution, size grading, and sedimentary structures, might be expected to reflect the nature of the storm itself and therefore record, in some sense, the conditions that produced it. If this were true, then analysis of the characteristics of storm beds in the marine sedimentary record would reveal important information about the coastal storm environment in the geological past. We might think of an individual storm that leaves a distinctive, permanent, interpretable mark in the sedimentary record as a “perfect” storm.


Wiberg, P. 2000. A perfect storm: Formation and potential for preservation of storm beds on the continental shelf. Oceanography 13(3):93–99, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2000.18.