UW Oshkosh

Coral Reefs and Geology of Bermuda

: Bermuda
Dates: August 18-25, 2014
Courses: Geo 360/560
Accommodation: residence hall
Program Model: Faculty-led
Contact: Eric Hiatt, Harrington 315, 424-7001


The purpose of this course is to give students an opportunity to explore the oceanographic and environmental factors that affect coral reefs and carbonate sediment-producing organisms. For a geologist, it is critical to understand the relationships between environments and the sediments (solid remains of organisms, such as stony corals, many forms of algae, mollusks (clams and snails), and single-celled calcifying organisms), because it is these sediments that later become carbonate rocks (limestone and dolostone). These relationships are important because much of our petroleum, natural gas, and even groundwater are derived from the pore spaces in carbonate rocks. Ultimately, the original environment in which these organisms lived provides the first order control of the size and distribution of this pore space that later becomes reservoirs for these vital natural resources. We will also explore global climate change as recorded in rocks and soils on Bermuda. When the Pleistocene ice sheets advanced covering areas such as Wisconsin, the volcanic atoll that is Bermuda stood as much as 150 meters higher above sea level, and thick soils developed on the island.


Program Application & Guide