Great Barrier Reef Field Course

Piers Larcombe Piers.Larcombe at
Fri Feb 5 17:40:22 EST 1999

The School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University is offering a field
course which may be of interest to readers of the newsgroup.

(June 7-28, 1999)

'Coral Reefs and Mangroves of the Great Barrier Reef'

Focus: Field studies in shelf sedimentology
Location : Townsville and environs
Duration: 3 weeks from June 7 to June 28, 1999.
Credit: 4 credit points from James Cook University (contact James Cook
University for information on credit transferability).
Cost: $3600 (Australian dollars - approximately US$2500 - includes
accommodation and transport once you arrive at James Cook University to
start the course).

This course introduces students to the cutting-edge of sedimentology
research using the central Great Barrier Reef Lagoon as its laboratory.
The focus is on the sedimentary processes which control the distribution
of shelf sediments and coral reefs. The course will consist of an
introduction (delivered remotely via the web and by lectures and practical
work at JCU), followed by 12-14 days of fieldwork, using the University
research vessels Mudskipper and James Kirby. Students may have the option
to view the reef from the air (through an overflight by small plane) and
to visit the outer reef. During the first half of the course, participants
will be introduced to a range of instrumentation and equipment (including
current meters, bed-level sensors, grab samplers, side-scan sonar,
vibrocorer, sub-bottom profiler) and sedimentary environments (including
fringing coral reefs, near-shore turbid-zone reefs, coastal sediment
bodies, shelf sediment bodies and the outer reef). During the second half
of the course, participants will develop and focus on a specific research
issue. This elite course is designed to provide hands-on experience on the
Great Barrier Reef itself, an unparalleled setting in which to learn the
complexities of the shelf system from experts in the field.

See website

Primary Contact: 	Professor Tim Bell  
			tim.bell at
			fax: +61 (0)7 4725-1501


Course Leaders: Dr Ken Woolfe, Dr Piers Larcombe

Jun 7	Lecture 1	Introduction to the GBR, the School and the Course
	Lecture 2	The GBR Shelf
	Lecture 3	Trade Winds and Cyclones
	Prac 1: 	Tides, Currents and regional sedimentation
			patterns and geology (Townsville Region) and a BBQ
Jun 8	Field Trip	Inter-tidal sedimentary environments (Shelly Bay).
Jun 9 Field Trip	Inter-tidal sedimentary environments (Shelly Bay).
Jun 10 Lecture 4	Applications of particle size analysis
	Lecture 5	Petrology and grain shape
	Prac 2 		Particle size analysis, petrology and grain shape.
	Prac 3 		Reporting.
Jun 11 Lecture 6	Tides and tidal creeks
	Lecture 7	Mangrove systems
	Lecture 8	Collection of real-time data
	Prac 4 		Working with data loggers and data.
Jun 12 Field Trip 	Mangrove creeks and salt flats (Cocoa Creek)
Jun 13 			Travel to field camp (probably Whitsunday Islands)
Jun 14 - 18 		Small group activities
			A) Tides, currents and waves
			B) Inter-tidal sediments
			C) Supra-tidal deposits
			D) Sub-tidal sediments
			E) Seismic stratigraphy
Jun 19 			Outer Reef Trip
Jun 20 			Small group project generation
Jun 21-26 		Small group research projects
Jun 27 			Day trip to investigate a quartz sand problem
Jun 28 			Return to Townsville

Please address initial enquiries to tim.bell at

Dr. Piers Larcombe             piers.larcombe at
Tel.  +61 7 47815056                 Fax. +61 7 47251501
Marine Geophysical Laboratory,  School of Earth Sciences
James Cook University,   Townsville,   4811    Australia

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