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April 2007 Chevron Field Trip to the Florida Bay and Reef Tract

In late April, seven MGG student were kindly invited to join in a Carbonate Field Seminar offered by Chevron.

The purpose of the trip was to explore Southern Florida because it remains an important, modern carbonate setting for several reasons.

- A siliciclastic-to-carbonate transition occurs within the Miami and northern Florida Keys area.
- The Florida reef tract contains a continuous, well-developed outer reef, and also a myriad of patch reefs and associated skeletal sands.
- The Florida Bay to Florida reef tract transition shows most of the important sedimentologic changes that occur seaward across a shelf as energy conditions also increase.
- Florida Bay contains a spectrum of mud-dominated depositional settings ranging from shallow subtidal to supratidal environments.
- The Everglades represent the marine to freshwater transition occurring along the coastline.

Modern shallow-water carbonate sediments in southern Florida have locally accumulated to substantial thicknesses between the mainland and the shelf edge. The southern Florida shallow shelf can be subdivided into an inner, more restricted part (Florida Bay) and an open shelf (the Florida reef tract), which are separated by the Florida Keys. The landward boundary of the inner shelf is mangrove swamp and supratidal flats of the Everglades. To the west of Florida Bay and Key West, the shelf narrows and is current dominated across most of its width.

All of us had a wonderful time. Check out pictures of the field trip soon!

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