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Home | Tampa Bay Study | Data | Task 3: History and Prehistory - Stratigraphy and Chronology

This page is archived and is no longer being maintained. Content was last updated in 2015. For current research, visit http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/.
Data > Task 3: History and Prehistory - Statigraphy and Chronology

Project Lead: Thomas M. Cronin

Knowing the historical and pre-historical environmental conditions for a coastal ecosystems such as Tampa Bay can be very important when determining the effects of climate variability or sea-level change, conducting habitat restoration, or evaluating the health of ecosystems. Sediment cores are a common method for determining pre-historical conditions and the impact of human activity in the bay and its watershed during the historical period.

The USGS, in cooperation with Eckerd College and the University of South Florida, have collected sediment cores as part of the Tampa Bay Study. The cores are collected from a boat using either a vibracore or push-core system and then brought back into the lab for analysis.

Many variables are studied and measured in the sediment, among them grain-size (useful in analysis of turbidity and water clarity), pollen grains (indicator of climate and land-use), benthic microfossils (indicators of salinity and water quality, and a variety of geochemical proxies (indicators of salinity, water quality, pollution etc). The temporal patterns obtained from these proxies, when interpreted in light of an age model developed from radiocarbon and other dating methods, tell researchers and managers about the environmental health of the bay and how to restore the bay to more pristine conditions.

Sediment grain-size and other variables are collected at depth, which can then be interpreted to a temporal scale using a carbon-dating process.

Read: Research Vessel Marion Dufresne Cores Tampa Bay, Florida (USGS Soundwaves article by Terry Edgar (USGS), September, 2002.)

 Core Sample Locations in Tampa Bay

Select a core location marked in red in the maps below to view lithological descriptions of the cores.
Core sample locations in Tampa BayCore TB-02-VC-1304Core TB-02-VC-0902Core TB-02-VC-1402Core TB-02-VC-1701Core Marion Dufresne 2579Core TB-03-VC-10Core TB-02-VC-1803Core TB-02-CH05
Description of Core:
R/V Marion Dufresne Core:
TB-02-MD2579 (larger view)

 Enlargement of Inset

Core sample locations in Tampa Bay: Enlargement of Area BCore TB-03-VC-10Core Marion Dufresne 2579

 Related Products from the Tampa Bay Digital Library

Historical and Prehistorical Record of Tampa Bay Environments (USGS Open-File Report 2005-1016, January 2005)

Spatial data sets of the bottom sediments of Tampa Bay, as interpreted from cores collected 2002 through 2005

Surface sediment data from cores collected in Tampa Bay, 2002 through 2005

Tampa Bay Benthic Sampling Data (Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission)

Eckerd Collegem St. Petersburg, Florida logo and University of South Florida (USF) logo

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science
URL of this page is: http://gulfsci.usgs.gov/tampabay/data/3_stratigraphy/index.html
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This page last revised: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 03:10 PM  (BB)
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