Marine Science

Marine Science

Senior Theses 2008

Noura Randle (2008)  Assessing the integrity of a stratigraphic sequence using paired AMS radiocarbon dates on planktonic formanifera: development of a high resolution chronology

Faculty Advisor: David Hastings

Areas of high sedimentation rates are important in that they can give us high-resolution paleoclimate records. In order for these records to be useful we need to prove that they are continuous and undisturbed. Downslope transport is a risk in areas with high sedimentation rates such as Orca Basin. One hypothesis suggests robust tests would preferentially survive resedimentation processes and dissolution compared to more fragile species, leading to anomalous age dates [Broecker et. al., 2006]. In order for these records to be useful we need to prove that they are continuous and undisturbed. Core MDO2-2550 is a 9.09m gravity core from the Orca Basin, ideally suited to test this hypothesis and to record the Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater pulses into the Gulf of Mexico. Anoxic bottom water prevents bioturbation, resulting in laminated sediments. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages on relatively fragile and dissolution susceptible Globigerinoides ruber samples were compared with the more robust species Neogloboquadrina dutertrei, using the same reservoir correction. Except for one interval, the paired ages showed no significant difference. Based on AMS G. ruber C-14 dates taken every 10cm the sedimentation rate is ~ 40cm/k.y. Using 14 paired AMS radiocarbon dates and generating a high-resolution chronology verifies the integrity of the stratigraphic sequence through the last deglacial period

Student Research

Given the close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and subtropical climate, the Tampa Bay region has a high concentration of marine research and academic institutions. Because of many local connections in the Tampa Bay area, a large number of opportunities are available to our students through government and private marine agencies and laboratories, public aquaria, marine conservation institutions, environmental consulting firms, and commercial aquaculture firms.

$1Mil Renovation Project

GMSL patio

The National Science Foundation awarded Eckerd College $870,720 to renovate research spaces within the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory during the summer of 2011. Eckerd contributions to the project bring the total renovation budget to over $1 million. Learn more.