The Holocene coastal sand deposits of the central South Carolina coastline were investigated to estimate volumes of reservoir-quality (RQ) sediments. These sand bodies, which vary considerably in size, thickness, shape, and continuity, were deposited in a variety of depositional settings including barrier islands, ebb-tidal deltas, exposed sand flats, tidal sand ridges, and tidal point bars. To identify the RQ sediment for each sand-body type, a conservative mud cutoff value of 15% was chosen. Average thickness values ranged from 6 m for barrier island deposits to 15 m for ebb-tidal deltas.

Of the six most significant RQ sand depositional environments on the central portion of the South Carolina coast, ebb-tidal delta complexes accounted for 77% of all RQ sediments. This dominance of the ebb-tidal delta deposits is attributed to the relatively large tidal range in the area (up to 3 m) and to the presence of a number of large, incised alluvial valleys, which are host to estuarine complexes with large tidal prisms.

If the Holocene sand deposits along the central 115 km of the South Carolina coast were preserved in the rock record, a total of 1.3 × 106 ac-ft of RQ sands would be present, a significant amount considering the short time interval of approximately 5000 yr.

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