Geology 351 - Telling Time in the Apennines: Research Seminar in Stratigraphy

Italian Stratigraphy

David Jones

TH | 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Amherst College
Beneski Museum of Natural History Room 211

Earth is a planet that records its own history through the accumulation of sediment at its surface. Few sedimentary basins around the globe preserve a longer or more detailed record of that history than the Umbria-Marche Basin in central Italy, where a continuous record of sedimentation from the Jurassic through the present day are exposed throughout the Apennine Mountains. Italy is the birthplace of the geological science of stratigraphy, which seeks to establish the chronology of sedimentary rock deposition. Modern stratigraphic techniques are based on geological, geochemical, geophysical, and paleontological foundations; students will learn the principles of stratigraphy in the first half of the course. We will also study the tectonic evolution of the Apennines and the geologic history of the Umbria-Marche Basin in order to prepare for our spring break field work. This preparatory work will include reading and discussing the primary scientific literature.

Students will travel to Italy during spring break to conduct field work in the central Apennines. The field component will be based at the Osservatorio Geologico di Coldigioco, and will include four full days of field trips and three full days of field-based stratigraphic logging and sample collection. Data collected during spring break will form the basis for collaborative class research projects that will be completed at Amherst during the second half of the semester, applying and extending the techniques developed before the trip.

Spring semester. Professor David Jones.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to declared geology majors, students who have completed GEOL 311, and/or other coursework in Geology beyond GEOL 112.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: field work, reading scientific literature, independent research, group work, lab work, quantitative work, presentations

Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.