Flooding from strong storms can sweep coarse sand and shells into new areas, creating distinctive layers in otherwise muddy soil. But this work has primarily focused on the frequency of past hurricanes, not their strength or how they reshaped the landscape. Their work could help inform infrastructure planning and emergency management decisions in southern New England and other places that are likely to face hurricane flooding in the future. “When a hurricane strikes a coastline, it produces waves and storm surge, which often induce flooding,” Sanborn says. This information, as well as the well-documented wind speeds, storm tracks, and water levels associated with recent hurricanes, will be used to calibrate newly developed computer models.