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Careers: Geology/Marine Geology/Geological Oceanography


Hello, I'm currently a Geology student thinking of transferring for a Marine Geology focus. I really want to study the abyssal plain, chemosynthetic vents and things of that nature upon entering grad school. Would Geological Oceanography encompass these regions as well as your typical sedimentology, petrology, etc., or should I be moving in a slightly different direction of study?


Sounds like you know what you what to do with your career.

Yes, Submarine Geology, or Geological Oceanography cover those topics.  Like so many cross discipline areas, it becomes kind of gray when you enter into the "process" side of things.  By that I mean the sedimentalogical area.  A professor might be a dyed in the wool sedimetary geologist, and doing deep sea cores, or an Oceanographyer doing studies of near shore deposition of barrier islands.

I personally would categorize what you list as Submarine Geology, that is the geology that lies under the ocean.  If you focus on the process forming the vents, rather than the processes that are occuring around and because of the vent, that is more geology, than the latter which would be to my mind, more oceanography.(ever wonder why its not Oceanology? it should be since ography means "to write about", rather than "to study",  another thing we can blame on the "gang of Geographers" pretenders..."

I went to Old Dominion Univ.  in Norfolk and took more than a few oceanography courses as part of my degree studies.  We were required to as a way to support related schools of science.  Anyway, they have some affiliation with the Jacques Cousteau Society, or they did just as I was graduation in the early 80's.

I don't think they did much deep ocean stuff, except Bering Sea Core studies, performed by Dr. Dennis Darby a former professor of mine in Sed. Petrology.

I should think there are both east coast and west coast universities studying the phenomena you refer to.  Univ of Delaware published a study on Hydrothermal vents.

Do a search for deep thermal vent studies or geology of deep thermal vent study.

MIT also has a program, Boston Univ., Rutgers and Woods HOle do too.  

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Keith Patton


Career and educational options open for fledgling geoscience students. What courses you should take to prepare for the current job market.


24 years experience in Petroleum, Environmental Consulting and geological and geophysical computer software development.


Registered Geologist in Texas
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