Biostratigraphy for fun and profit
Students use the evolutionary distribution of oceanic phytoplankton fossils to date the age of pelagic and hemipelagic sedimentary rocks. They correlate this section to another as an exercise in oil prospecting.
introductory oceanography course
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
basics of biostratigraphy and stratigraphic principles.
How the activity is situated in the course
towards the end, after the basic material about marine sedimentary rocks has been covered.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
biostratigraphic principles and relative age dating
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
analysis of data and evaluation of alternating hypotheses
Other skills goals for this activity
can be done working in groups or individually.
Description and Teaching Materials
Biostratigraphy of Miocene phytoplankton (Acrobat (PDF) 850kB Jun13 13)
Teaching Notes and Tips