A typhoon or hurricane pushes surface water before it. When the wind-driven water hits the coast, it can no longer move forward. Forced downward and backward, the surface water displaces deeper, colder water and sends it far out to sea. Because the speed of sound in seawater rises with temperature, a typhoon’s passage alters the coastal sound field. Now Guang-Bing Yang and his colleagues from the First Institute of Oceanography in Qingdao, China, have identified a second, related effect to do with seafloor sediment. On 1 August 2012, one day before Typhoon Damrey (shown here) made landfall in eastern China, the crew of the fishing boat Lulaoyu took the temperature profile of the water at a location 10 km off the coast of Qingdao. Four days later, after the typhoon had left, the Lulaoyu returned to take a second profile. When Yang and his collaborators analyzed the profiles, they...

You do not currently have access to this content.