Dr. Jeff Marshall
Undergraduate Research Advising

 

Student:

John Utick

Research Project:

Geomorphology, petrology, and provenance of Holocene beach sands, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

 

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DateTime:2005:11:09 14:52:33.187

John Utick (right) and Eli LaFromboise collecting beach sand samples adjacent to outcrop of Nicoya Complex seafloor basalt, Playa Negra, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (March 2005).

Dr. Jeff Marshall with Cal Poly Pomona undergraduate research students John Utick, and Eli LaFromboise, coastal geomorphology and tectonics project, Playa Negra, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (March 2005).

Thin section photograph by John Utick showing Holocene beachrock with acicular crystals of aragonite cement encircling rounded grains of Nicoya Complex basalt, former pyroxene phenocrysts, carbonate shells, and coral fragments.  Sample from Playa Negra, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica


 

Images:  Project photos and illustrations

 

Project Overview:

John’s research examines the geomorphology, petrology, and provenance of Holocene beach sands and beachrock horizons on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. In March 2005, John traveled to Costa Rica with Dr. Marshall and fellow student Eli LaFromboise, for 10 days of fieldwork. The students worked together on two distinct, but related research projects: 1) John’s study of Holocene beach deposits, and 2) Eli’s study of adjacent Pleistocene marine terraces.

John’s field project focused on three beaches along the Nicoya Peninsula’s northern coastline: Playa Negra, Playa Blanca (Junquillal), and Playa Socorro (Lagarto). The goal of this project was to characterize the geomorphology and sedimentology of these beaches, and to identify the major beach forming processes at work within this littoral system. Research methods included field mapping and examination of aerial photographs, field surveying of topographic profiles, bedrock and sediment sampling along beach transects, petrographic analysis and grain counting of thin sections, and stratigraphic description and radiocarbon dating of carbonate-cemented beachrock horizons.

John and Eli presented preliminary research results in co-written abstracts and posters at the 2005 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, and at the 2006 Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

 

Research Abstracts:

2006 GSA Cordilleran Meeting Abstract: Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, 2006

2005 GSA Annual Meeting Abstract: Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2005

 

Senior Thesis:

Utick, J.D., in progress, Geomorphology, petrology, and provenance of Holocene beach sands, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: [B.S. Thesis] Cal Poly Pomona University, Pomona, California.

 

Honors and Awards:

·       Puente Hills Gem & Mineral Society Scholarship (2005)