St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Vibracoring-Reconstructing the past from Earth sedimentsGeologists rely on information from deep beneath the Earth's surface to reconstruct the past. As sediments accumulate over time, they create records geologists use to understand Earth history and to predict future processes and trends. The most common way to get this information is to drill a hole in the Earth where sediments have been deposited over time. The type of drilling tool used for cores depends on how deep and how hard the sediments are. Vibracoring is one of the tools used in shallow coastal areas where sediments consist of soft sand and mud. This video podcast describes how cores are collected in shallow water from the deck of a research vessel using vibracoring. The sediments drilled are recovered in the form of a core that will contain an intact record of the past. Core samples are used to assess the geologic history of an area, such as its geomorphology; coastal, marine, and terrestrial processes; and changes in environmental quality.
Ocean Acidification: Research on Top of the WorldThe Arctic Ocean is one of the most remarkable bodies of water on the planet. It houses large charismatic predators like polar bears, whales, and seals; critical species like shell fish and phytoplankton; and an array of organisms found nowhere else on Earth. The Arctic Ocean is also the most inaccessible and least explored ocean. Its remoteness has kept it ecologically pristine. But the Arctic is where climate change impacts are strongest and where global changes are underway.
Microfossils Reveal Climatic History of the Gulf of MexicoProxy data such as tree rings, ice cores, and microorganisms are collected and analyzed by scientists to unlock past climate records stretching back thousands to millions of years ago. This video podcast examines how scientists can decipher past climate from such records by focusing on a proxy calibration study in the Gulf of Mexico. Microfossils recovered from the northern Gulf of Mexico are used to assess the control of temperature and salinity on the composition of microfossil assemblages and the chemical composition of their shells. The new data will be used to develop better estimates of past conditions from analyses of microfossils in sediment cores.
Corals: A 50-Year Photographic Record of ChangeThis video podcast highlights 50 years of photographic documentation of coral reefs in the Florida Keys. The photographs show 5 decades of changes that have taken place in both the size and the types of corals that were present at several coral reef sites from the early 1960s to today. The images capture events such as the appearance of coral disease and the die off of coral species like staghorn in the region.
In Harm's Way: Measuring Storm Impacts to Forecast Future VulnerabilityThis video podcast looks at the science behind understanding coastal vulnerability and hazards posed by extreme storms. It documents how USGS scientists study the response of coastal environments to the extreme winds, waves, and currents brought by such storms.
SHARQThe Submersible Habitat for Analyzing Reef Quality (SHARQ) is a new tool scientists use to understand and map metabolic characteristics associated with marine communities living on the sea floor. This podcast gives a closer look at how scientists use SHARQ to analyze important habitats like coral reefs.
African Dust, Coral Reefs and Human HealthAfrican Dust, Coral Reefs and Human Health presents how recent changes in the composition and quantities of African dust transported to the Caribbean and the Americas might provide clues to why Caribbean coral reef ecosystems are deteriorating and human health may be impacted. The documentary features work being done by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey in St. Petersburg, Florida and Denver, Colorado and at the Department of Energy in Berkeley, California.
Summer Fieldwork in Everglades National ParkIn this podcast scientists cruise through tidal creeks, sample mangrove sites, pull sediment cores, and avoid swarms of mosquitoes while conducting studies and monitoring the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, the Everglades.