A 2-yr study of the sources and distribution of upper Pleistocene and Holocene sand on the eastern United States shelf between the Bay of Fundy and Cape Hatteras reveals that 3 sand types are found on this shelf: (1) glacially transported, very angular sands, (2) fluvially transported, well-rounded sands derived from unlithified coastal plain deposits, and (3) fluvially transported, moderately angular sands derived from lithified sedimentary and crystalline rocks of the Appalachian and New England areas. For the most part, the distribution of these sand types reflects the late Pleistocene paleogeography of this shelf. Glacial sands are found in the areas of upper Pleistocene till, moraine, and outwash-plain deposits east and northeast of the Hudson Canyon; the 2 fluvial sands are found in coast-normal stripes that correspond to the ancestral paths of the many rivers that traversed this shelf during the late Pleistocene. The preservation of relict paleogeographic patterns of these sorts are an indication of diffusive transport of sand through most of this shelf. The exceptions to this are found in the shallow waters of Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank, where glacial sands are presently being advected to the southwest by the strong tidal currents that prevail.

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