“Drilling for the Global Sea Level record: Results of IODP Expedition 313 on the NJ Shelf” with Gregory Mountain (Feb 2013)

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Scientific Ocean Drilling

Originally presented 23 Feb 2013

The offshore phase of the New Jersey Shallow Shelf Expedition took place from 30 April to 17 July 2009. The objective of this IODP expedition was to obtain continuous cores and downhole logging measurements of sediment sequences on this modern continental margin at three sites that represent the most sensitive and accessible locations. Coring goals were to:

–Date major “Icehouse” (Oligocene-Recent) sequences, a period of known sea level change;

–Estimate the amplitudes, rates, and mechanisms of sea level change.

–Provide a baseline for future IODP drilling that will address the effects and timing of sea level changes on other passive margins.

The New Jersey Margin is an ideal location in which to investigate the history of sea level change and its relationship to sequence stratigraphy because it features:

–Rapid depositional rates;

–Tectonic stability;

–Well-preserved fossils suitable for age control that characterize the sediments of this margin throughout the interval of interest;

–A large set of seismic, well-log, and borehole data with which to frame the general objectives and choose appropriate drill sites.

Introduction to this Workshop

View the introductory slideshow

         ppt          pdf

Cutting-Edge Research

View Dr. Mountain’s slideshow. (Note: very large ppt.)
Also available in pdf, but animations will not function.

It’s hard to pick up a newspaper, read a blog or listen to a talk show and not encounter the topic of rising sea level. But what gives?  Stockholm has no problem – sea level for the Swedes is falling! Canadians are watching Hudson Bay shrink as its shoreline retreats!? What’s with this ‘global’ issue – is it a hoax?  Most certainly not, but the details deserve careful study.  It turns out shorelines respond in complex ways to changes in global sea level and the rate (and even the direction) that they move laterally depends on a host of local processes.

To explore this issue, Gregory Mountain and his colleagues selected the New Jersey margin and examined the response of shoreline advance and retreat during times of major sea-level change. He and an international team of scientists spent 79 days 45 km offshore Barnegat Inlet drilling 750 m into the seabed as part of Expedition 313 of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. The sediments, fossils and remote measurements collected at 3 sites provided the first continuous record of the impact of sea-level change on nearshore sediments stretching back 35 Ma. Today he will describe why this location was chosen, how the expedition was conducted and what results tell us about how sea level and shorelines changed in the distant past, long before human influence may have upset the natural balance.  The lessons are clear for what lies ahead in a warming world.

“Sea Level Rise and Shoreline Resilience”

Classroom Resources

RUCOOL (Rutgers University Coastal Ocean Observatory Laboratory) 

C.O.O.L. Classroom

Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE)

Deep Earth Academy Teach It! Lessons

“Changes over Time–Microfossils in Blake’s Nose”

 “Inquiry into High-Resolution Ice Core and Marine Sediment
Records Archives of Suborbital (Millennial) Oscillations in Climate”

Other Resources for This Topic

“Using the New Jersey Continental Shelf to Understand Sea Level Change”

Surficial Sediment Character of the New York-New Jersey Offshore Continental Shelf Region: a GIS Compilation

NJ Shelf Research

NJ Coastal Composition

New York Bight Regional Research Information

USGS Studies in the NY Bight

Geology and Geography of New York Bight Beaches

Hudson Canyon

Integrating Educational Technologies

General suggestions: Integrating Educational Technologies into Your Classrooms

Your assignment:

1) What characteristics make educational graphic novels effective as a classroom teaching tool?

2) When should educational graphic novels be used for full-class instruction, and when should they be used for small groups or individual projects?

3) Describe strategies to locate suitable educational graphic novels for your classes.


4) Design a lesson plan that incorporates at least one educational graphic novel into your curriculum.

E2C Follow-up:

You may send your model lesson and other responses to this “assignment” to michael@earth2class.org. If suitable, we will post your work in the E2C lesson plans and/or add them to this section of the Workshop website.


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Program Evaluation

Two external evaluators conducted formal assessments of the Earth2Class
program in conjunction with our NSF Geoscience Education Grant.
Read their reports:

Dr. Pearl R. Solomon
Professor Emeritus, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY

Dr. James Ebert
Earth Sciences Department, SUNY College at Oneonta, Onenta, NY


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