Field Trip - Navira River, Mayaro

Trip title: Defining a Modern Estuary; the Nariva River mouth case study and core workshop

Date: Saturday July 28th, 2018

Field trip leader: Saeed Khan & Hasley Vincent

Our understanding of the geological rock record is greatly driven by our understanding of modern systems.  There are over a dozen modern marginal-marine depositional systems along Trinidad’s coastlines that remain unstudied, with the sole exception of the Moruga River delta.

We will visit the mouth of the Nariva River to examine the dynamic nature of estuaries viewed through shallow sediment cores taken across the river mouth.  We will discuss why this is classified as a modern estuary and get an opportunity to compare the facies seen in the modern environment to a Pleistocene estuarine exposure of the Palmiste Formation.

Objectives of this field trip:

  • To understand estuaries; how they are defined, their morphologies and classification.
  • To discuss facies associations observed in modern sediment cores taken at the Nariva River mouth and their interpretations.
  • To apply our knowledge of facies associated with estuaries to those observed in the Palmiste Formation.


  • Nariva River mouth core workshop
  • Palmiste Formation outcrop

Trip Synopsis

  • Nariva River Mouth: The Nariva River mouth is one element of the Nariva system and potentially the most dynamic. Other elements of the system include: the Cocal and the Nariva Swamp. How are these elements organised to form an estuary? What are estuaries and how are they classified? What are the sub-depositional environments associated with the Nariva estuary? How did the system evolve?


  • The Palmiste Formation: The Palmiste Formation, formerly known as the Palmiste Clay member of the Talparo Formation is Pliocene in age and sits on the Mayaro Formation. Not a lot of work has been done on this formation, but it is widely thought to be estuarine in nature. At this stop we will look at the facies of the Palmiste Formation and compare them to those observed in the Nariva cores.