The broader Virginia Tech sedimentary geoscience group (faculty and graduate students of VT Sedimentary Geochemistry and VT Sedimentary Systems and related disciplines) just returned from a six-day field trip visiting locations in the Outer Banks barrier island system of North Carolina. The trip was the culmination of a grad-student seminar this spring semester on coastal sedimentary environments. The students researched topics of interest, identified appropriate locations, designed field activities, and then led that day of the trip. The nine graduate student participants collaborated to design, write, and produce a field guidebook as well.
Topics of interest included: sediment transport dynamics, facies distribution and stratigraphy, biology/ecology of coastal environments, and anthropogenic effects/activities (e.g., beach nourishment). Field activities included: grain-size analysis (using sieves), beach profiling, trenching, push coring, and lots of primary observation.
Most of us in this group study sedimentary rocks so just getting to watch sediment transport happen before our eyes and make the connection to deposits that (might) get preserved into the rock record was an overarching objective.
In addition to the field locales, we had great visits to the UNC Coastal Studies Institute and the Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility. Huge thanks to our hosts, these visits added a lot to our trip.
The photos below summarize just some of the trip.
Here’s the group (minus one grad student) on the final afternoon at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.