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Learning from Florida’s Past to Prepare for the Future

florida-geological-past-learning-for-future-don-goldsteinDon Goldstein, a paleontology researcher, will present “How Can Florida’s Geological Past Help Us Prepare for the Future?” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, February 28.

During the past 2 million years, Florida has been partially covered by the sea repeatedly, which provides enormous volumes of fossil materials for study. The patterns of depositions and the distribution of the animals reveal a picture of a tropical to subtropical environment similar to South Florida today. It also shows the periodic tropical storms.

The pattern of flooding of the peninsula revealed by the geographic distribution of the Pleistocene deposits, gives researchers a picture of where future flooding may occur for sea level changes of various heights above the current level.  Researchers compare maps of the past marine coverage of the peninsula (prepared by Dr. E.J. Petuch) with predictive maps of flooding to discover various proposed sea level changes. 

During his presentation, Mr. Goldstein will share these maps and discuss various means of adapting to the possible geological changes in South Florida. 

The UT Science Forum takes place every Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D. The 40-minute presentation is followed by a Q&A session. The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public.