Geological reconnaissance survey of Saba Bank, Caribbean Sea


The main conclusion from this study is that the Saba Bank has little modern material/ sediment deposited in relation to present sea level. This contradicts with previous beliefs such as Spencer’s claim that the bank surface “has been leveled by coral growth and sands derived from them”.

The study found the following:

  • Minimal reef development.
    • Limited data from the survey revealed a sparse coral cover but   abundant crustose coralline algae and sponges.
    • The Saba community showed no sign of forming an interlocking reef framework.
  • Sediments rich in residual material derived from late Cenozoic limestone bedrock.
  • Most samples from this area had relatively large quantities of calcite, which suggests erosion of bedrock on Saba Bank.
  • The internal structure of Saba Bank remains unknown; the surveys lacked sufficient sub-bottom penetration to disclose information about internal structure.

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