Barbados Corals

by | 4.30.2014 at 5:34pm
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The video above, “Flip Flops and Outcrops,” captures good vibrations from a recent Columbia University geology field trip to the Caribbean island of Barbados, along with limestone caves and living reefs; rocks carved into mushroom shapes; and the discovery of sperm whale vertebrae washed up on a beach.  Produced by Columbia undergraduates, Daniel Nothaft, Therese Chen, Rose Ramirez, Reid Jenkins and John Cho, it even features geology-inspired lyrics set to Katy Perry’s summer anthem, “California Gurls” (below).

Lamont geochemist Steve Goldstein led the trip. (Daniel Norcroft)

Lamont geochemist Steve Goldstein led the trip. (Daniel Nothaft)

Fossil coral reefs on the island have had great historic importance on modern climate science. It was here that scientists found some of the most important evidence to work out how earth’s orbital cycles drive the waxing and waning of ice ages, and thus sea levels. On the trip, led by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory geochemist Steven Goldstein, graduate student Amelia Paukert and Woods Hole scientist William G. Thompson, a group of geology majors got to touch these magnificent reefs—both living reefs underwater and fossil reefs now elevated on dry land.

The Columbia students discussed how the fossil coral reefs underpin our evolving knowledge of natural climate cycles. They also witnessed evidence of plate tectonics in action; Barbados is being actively uplifted as the crust of the Atlantic Ocean is thrust under the Caribbean.

Here’s the song, if you want to sing along:

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Barbados Corals” (Composed by the class;recorded and performed by Reid Jenkins, Emilie Schattman, Daniel Nothaft)

coral

A close up view of fossil coral. (Rose Ramirez)

I know a place where the land is always rising Karsts, Caves, Sinkholes, the geology’s suprising
Sippin’ Rum and Juice, swimming with Rihanna’s Turtles (we’re buzzed)
Bajans turn their heads, sayin’ look at those dumb tourists (That’s us)
You can travel the world, but nothing comes close to Barbados
Once you look at the outcrops, you’ll be fallin’ in love ove ove

Barbados corals, they’re unforgettable
You’ll find A. palmata on top

Then comes staghorn and organ pipe corals Oh oho oho oho

Carib Blue Hotel, it’s affordable
Please don’t leave your screen door unlocked
Better ask first before you get a popsicle Oh oho oho oho

Rocks on the beach, we don’t mind sand in our sneakers
Steve is kooky in the suzuki top one hundred on our speakers

You can travel the world, but nothing comes close to Barbados
Once you look at the outcrops, you’ll be fallin’ in love ove ove

Barbados corals, they’re unforgettable
You’ll find A. palmata on top
Then comes staghorn and organ pipe corals
Reggae night on top of aragonite
Car-melted cheese sorta tastes alright Better ask first before you get a popsicle Oh oho oho oh

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