Tectonics, Circulation, and Climate in the Caribbean Gateway

March 30-April 1, 2006 – Austin, Texas
Convener: Andre Droxler, Larry Peterson, Paul Mann


The workshop was held to review and discuss strategies for understanding the interplay between paleoceanography and tectonics in the Caribbean region and how detailed studies of these interactions might have regional and global implications extending far beyond this particular region. Except for DSDP Leg 15 in 1973 and ODP Leg 165 in 1996, the Caribbean remains one of the least sampled regions of the world in terms of deep sea scientific drilling. Yet the Caribbean’s role as a gateway whose progressive evolution and closure has contributed to the development of the large-scale overturning circulation of the modern ocean is undeniable. The interplay between climate and tectonics in this region makes for a host of compelling scientific questions that can be addressed only through scientific drilling.

Following a series of review talks, the group of 44 US and international participants divided into five thematic groups with common interests and objectives:

  1. Marine geophysical surveys of Caribbean gateways
  2. Tectonic and climatic significance of the Caribbean oceanic plateau
  3. Tectonic and climatic studies of the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela
  4. Significance of ash layers in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific Ocean
  5. Tectonic and paleoceanographic significance of the Anegada Passage and Puerto Rico
  6. Trench area

Workshop Report (pdf)

Organizing Committee

Paul Mann, University of Texas at Austin
Larry Peterson, University of Miami
Andre Droxler, Rice University