Greenstein lectures on reef development in an area of low hurricane frequency

Ben Greenstein, professor of geology, will give a lecture on Jan 26th titled “Coral reef development in an area of low hurricane frequency: Curacao (formerly the Netherlands Antilles).” Spectacular exposures of 125,000-year-old fossil coral reefs have been lifted 10 meters above sea level by tectonic forces on the island of Curacao. The resulting cliffs provide a natural laboratory in which Greenstein explores patterns of reef development (ecologic succession) in a region that experiences a very low frequency of hurricanes. This talk will present the results of recent research conducted by Greenstein and two geology students on the island of Curacao during 2010 and 2011. Topics include patterns of reef succession, the mode in which the coral reefs accumulated over an approximate 12,000-year interval during Late Pleistocene time and an investigation into whether the Curacao Underwater Park has been effective at conserving modern coral reefs.