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SPCMSC Scientists Investigating Coastal Geology in Pinellas County, Florida

SPCMSC geologists Daniel Ciarletta, Julie Bernier, and Nancy DeWitt are collecting ground-penetrating radar profiles and vibracores from Pinellas County, Florida barrier islands at Tierra Verde, Dunedin, and Tarpon Springs.

Three scientists operate a vibracore - a metal cylinder that is pushed into the sediment on a barrier island
Mendenhall postdoctoral fellow Daniel Ciarletta and geologists Julie Bernier and Nancy DeWitt of the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center operating a vibracore system on Mullet Key, a barrier island along the Gulf coast of Central Florida. The scientists are taking sediment samples to learn more about the long-term geological evolution of the island. Learn more about the Coastal Sediment Availability and Flux project. 
(Credit: Meaghan Faletti, USGS. Public domain.)

SPCMSC Research Geologist and Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow Daniel Ciarletta, as part of the Coastal Sediment Availability and Flux project, is in the midst of a field campaign to investigate the geology of barrier islands in Pinellas County, Florida. During President’s Day week, the field team—PI Ciarletta and geologists Julie Bernier and Nancy DeWitt—collected over 10 km of ground-penetrating radar profiles and 3 vibracores from Cabbage Key, Mullet Key, and other smaller keys around Fort De Soto and Tierra Verde. The field crew was also joined by Information Specialist Meaghan Faletti to document coring operations and develop promotional and training media. More ground-penetrating radar profiles are scheduled to be acquired in the near future at Honeymoon Island, Anclote Key, and Caladesi Island near Dunedin and Tarpon Springs. Coring and radar profile data will be used to calibrate a model of coastal sediment availability that may reveal the sensitivity of the Pinellas barriers to future changes in rate of sea-level rise and sediment input.







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