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Online: Houston Chapter November Technical Talk - 2:00PM (CDT)

  • November 10, 2020
  • 1:45 PM - 3:00 PM (CST)
  • Online - Register for Teams Link

Registration is closed

The Hydrographic Society of America-Houston Chapter's September Technical Meeting

The Hydrographic Society of America - Houston Chapter's November Technical Meeting

Location: Online - Register for meeting link

Speaker - Dr. Sean P.S. Gulick, Research Professor at University of Texas

Title: Gulf Coast Marine Geophysics for At-Sea Education, Coastal Hazards Research, and Sediment Resources

Additional Info: The University of Texas at Austin through a combination of hands-on, field experience education, in the form of a unique 3 week Marine Geology and Geophysics (MG&G) Field Course, and research partnerships with the Texas General Land Office (GLO) and Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) seeks to image, sample and interpret processes that dominate the Gulf Coast since the last sea level low stand to the modern day. Our MG&G field course has been conducted since 2008 and is a one-of-a-kind experiential curriculum where the students learn seismic imaging, sonars, sedimentary processes and sampling, and environmental indicators from theory to acquisition to processing to interpretation. The students rotate in groups between a shore-based lab, a small coastal research vessel, and a larger research vessel collecting seismic reflection, chirp sub bottom profiler, multibeam and sidescan sonar data and then ground truth with grab sampling and sediment coring. They process these data using industry standard software and conduct both grain size analysis and formanifera analysis to determine paleoenvironment. For the capstone of the course the students interpret these data as a team and give a group presentation on the geological processes of a portion of the Texas Gulf Coast. The data acquired in this field course since 2008 has launched two key research directions. First, the researchers at the Institute for Geophysics that teach the course are now the BOEM Texas Coop focused on determining the locations of sand resources by taking a systems approach to understanding the transition from fluvial systems on the shelf during the low stand of sea level through to the Holocene transgression and analogs for modern day sea level change.

An extension of this effort, which is mainly centered on full waveform chirp processing and analysis combined with sediment coring, into the Texas waters is now underway through funding by the Texas GLO. Additionally this annual collection of marine geophysical data since 2008 has provided opportunities to better understand the affects of hurricanes on the barrier island systems of the Texas Gulf Coast. For Hurricanes Ike and Harvey, UTIG, with funding from the Jackson School of Geosciences Rapid Response Program, acquired data over the same areas as previously surveyed during past MG&G courses allow for difference maps to be made to quantity the movement of sediment during specific hurricane landfalls and specific geologic provenances (e.g. anthropogenically modified inlets versus natural inlets, and foreshores versus estuary environments). In both of these rapid response efforts, the role of the ebb of the surge, or back/return flow, from estuaries to the ocean dominated sediment transport with a net loss of sand to the barrier island systems.

About the Speaker: Research Professor Sean Gulick, his students, and colleagues are working on costal and marine processes of the Gulf Coast including, tectonic and climate interactions in Alaska, geohazards and margin evolution in Alaska, Sumatra, and Japan, and the geologic processes and environmental effects of the Cretaceous-Paleogene Chicxulub meteor impact. To test some key hypotheses of how glacial erosion can perturb tectonics in 2013 Sean served as co-chief on the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 341: Southeast Alaska tectonics and climate. In 2016, Sean served as co-chief scientist on the joint International Ocean Discovery and Continental Drilling Programs Expedition 364: Drilling the K-Pg Chicxulub impact crater. Sean is a one of the PIs for the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Texas Coop to study sand resources, and he is the Director of the Marine Geology and Geophysics Field Course.

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