University of St Andrews

“Mud, mud, glorious mud!”

Thursday 01 November 2012

Final year geographers (GG4224) visited a local saltmarsh on the Eden Estuary as part of a new advanced topic in Physical Geography: “A field-based introduction to reconstructing sea-level change.”

This new unit introduces conceptual approaches and techniques used to reconstruct relative sea-level change. Students undertook fieldwork to develop their understanding of how saltmarshes provide archives recording past relative sea-level changes. Students looked at sedimentological changes through fossil cores and collected modern surface samples from a range of intertidal environments. After warming up with a cup of tea, these surface sediment samples were processed to look at benthic foraminifera distributions and assess their suitability as proxies for reconstructing past sea-level changes.

(photograph credits: David McCarthy & William Austin)

Collage of photos of 4th year class at saltmarsh