Public Release: 

The job of a lifetime: Mapping the geology of Barbados

New Geological Society of America Special Paper

Geological Society of America

Boulder, CO, USA - The text and maps in this new Geological Society of America Special Paper are components of a multidisciplinary, comprehensive analysis of the geology and geomorphology of Barbados by Robert C. Speed, who passed away in 2003 shortly before finalizing this work. Speed studied and mapped (with contributions from students and colleagues) the geology of Barbados from the late 1970s to 2000 and completed a set of geologic maps for the government of Barbados in 2001.

The editors for this volume are Speed's widow, Christine Speed, and colleague Richard Sedlock of San José State University in California, USA. The book features Speed's hand-drawn maps as well as a CD-ROM that includes a set of twelve 1:10,000 geological maps of Barbados, West Indies; four associated cross sections that transect the island; and a three-part appendix that contains advanced drafts of two unpublished manuscripts.

Basement rocks on Barbados are assigned to two Paleogene tectonic complexes that formed within or above an active subduction complex. The basement rocks are overlain by Quaternary rocks and sediments, and Speed's studies of these younger materials are the focus of this volume. The island's marine terraces, modern shore zone, modern marine sea cliffs, stream networks, and landslides are analyzed in detail. Uplift rates that were calculated at 71 sites, and dozens of 230Th dates of Pleistocene limestone are presented here for the first time.

The book is primarily the work of R.C. Speed, with light editing, compilation, and organization by the editors, who write, "As the texts and maps demonstrate, Bob Speed's research on the mechanisms and kinematics of regional deformation and active plate boundaries was based on the Earth itself, rather than on lab work or computer simulations. It has been an honor for the editors to organize the material for publication in his memory."


Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through The Geological Society of America online bookstore,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting April Leo,

Geology and Geomorphology of Barbados: A Companion Text to Maps with Accompanying Cross Sections, Scale 1:10,000

by Robert C. Speed
edited by Christine Speed and Richard Sedlock
Geological Society of America Special Paper 491
SPE491, 63 p. plus CD-ROM
$50.00; Member price $35.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2491-1

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