In the Coastal Sedimentology Lab at ODU, we investigate sediment transport and deposition across a variety of spatial and temporal scales. We use acoustic and optical sensors to measure the movement of water and sediment in coastal environments. These observations are then compared with data from sediment samples, where textural, radioisotopic, and geochemical signatures can fingerprint sediment sources and rates of sediment deposition and erosion. Ideally, we can connect a specific event (e.g., storm or flood) observed in the acoustic and optical sensors, with a corresponding deposit or erosive horizon observed in the sediment cores. By studying sediment dynamics in modern systems, we hope to better understand the behavior of past systems, the remnants of which may now be buried beneath more recent sediment, or exposed in eroding cliff faces.
Students join the Coastal Sedimentology Lab from a variety of backgrounds, including (but not limited to) geology, oceanography, and civil engineering. Prospective students should be interested in conducting both fieldwork and laboratory analyses, and contributing to the success of the broader research team.