Paper No. 18-12
Presentation Time: 4:30 PM
ST. MARTIN BEACH SANDS: A GUIDE TO THE CARBONATE GRAINS
We created a guidebook for the biological constituents of the carbonate beach sand on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Two samples of beach sand, from different locations on the island and varying slightly in particle size, were used to identify and photograph grains for the guidebook. Benthic foraminifera, soft coral sclerites, gastropods, bivalves, and sponge spicules were among the most prevalent identifiable grains found in both samples. Less common identifiable constituents, such as worm tubes and echinoderm spines, were also found. The majority constituents of the sand were highly weathered, unidentifiable calcareous algal and coral fragments. The grains featured in the guidebook were photographed though a binocular microscope and the photographs, along with relevant diagnostic constituent characteristics, provide the main body of the guidebook. The guidebook also contains some background geographical information on the island as well as instructions for a do-it-yourself project. The target audience for the guidebook is the general public who live on or are visiting the island of St. Martin and may not have a background in geology but would like to learn about the beautiful local beach sand.
Key words: Geoscience Education, Guidebook, Carbonate Grains, Beach Sand, St. Martin