Carbonate Systems (March 3 & 5)

Carbonate sediments are gifts of the sea, so let’s go there first. Maybe you’d like to stay in this nice little resort in Belize? NOAA has a wonderful website called “The Coral Kingdom” with many online photographs of reef animals and plants. The NOAA photo album is also very good. For that matter, visit the NOAA oceans page for links to extraordinary marine resources and images. The health of coral reefs is a great concern. Here’s a detailed USGS website which explores the hypothesis that airborne Saharan dust is devastating Atlantic and Caribbean coral systems. Let’s not forget all those wonderful ancient reefs as well. Everyone will want to visit “Jurassic Reef Park“. Apply your language skills to these reef pages in German.

Here’s a taste of our field research last spring in the Middle Jurassic carbonates of Utah. Will and Juda will be there soon!

Don’t forget your first lab test this week (Thursday). It is entirely devoted to siliciclastic rocks.

I hope you enjoy your long Spring Break!

Pisolites in the Conococheague Limestone (Upper Cambrian) of eastern Pennsylvania. (Click to enlarge.)

Geology in the News –

Climate change is both threatening archaeological (and geological) sites and revealing new artifacts and rocks. I suppose we can conclude that there are some silver linings as the ice relentlessly retreats.

This should be no surprise to you: Don’t build a house on a flood plain! Seems pretty obvious.

This is cool: A recently discovered critter is the first known animal not to require oxygen. It has no mitochondria. You’re not likely to see it, though, since it is a tiny parasite in some fish muscles. They are cnidarians, oddly enough, and they still have a variety of stinging cells (nematocysts).

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