By: Evan Worden
Since arriving in Carriacou, I have been amazed by the sloping mountain sides and great hills that cover the Island chain of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The ferry we took offered great views of the deep sloped mountains here. The island chain itself is all made of igneous rock, or cooled magma that arose from the sea floor. This is evident in the many layers that are seen in the mountain sides, a product of many eruptions over multiple years piling on one another into neat lines.
The magma source responsible for all these islands lies under the Soufrière volcano. As tectonic plates move land southward, new islands are formed by the unexposed magma vents. Eventually, the older islands will corrode and succumb back into the ocean. A lot of this is visible on the islands, many of which have gullies and streams formed by erosion. Thankfully, the Soufrière volcano is still very much active and producing the next generation of islands to explore and appreciate. Union island, being one of the farthest South in the chain, is one of the older islands in St. Vincent and Grenadines and has begun to lose its land mass and give way to sloping hills over tall mountains. It has been a pleasure exploring the islands and learning about their rich natural history, and I am excited to know more!
The authors of this blog are students enrolled in Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation, field courses run in the Caribbean by the University of South Florida. In 2019 and 2021, the course went to the Carmabi research station in Curaçao and dived around the island over a 10-day period, for training and to carry out research projects. In 2018, the group went to Soufriere, Saint Lucia, and took part in various projects in partnership with the Soufriere Marine Management Association. In this blog, students will document their activities and how they relate to course material.