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Abstract

The global nannofossil zonations of Martini (1971), Bukry (1973, 1975, 1978), and Okada and Bukry (1980) have been successfully applied to thick Eocene sequences in the eastern Gulf (Siesser, 1983), Virginia (Gibson et al., 1980), and South Carolina (Hazel et al., 1977) Coastal Plains, resulting in detailed biostratigraphic subdivision of the Eocene strata in those areas. However, little more than reconnaissance nannofossil biostratigraphy has been accomplished in the North Carolina Eocene which is typically thin and poorly exposed (Turco et al., 1979; Worsley and Turco, 1979; Hazel et al., 1984). Furthermore, nannofossil assemblages in the Eocene Castle Hayne Limestone are generally sparse and poorly preserved. Those factors have led to conflicting biostratigraphic interpretations which, combined with confusion over lithostratigraphy, have produced controversy concerning the age of the Castle Hayne Limestone (see Hazel et al., 1984, for a recent summary). However, recent findings (this report, Laws and Worsley, 1986; Worsley and Laws, in prep.) resulting from restudy of Worsley and Turco’s (1979) localities, plus extensive study of many additional localities demonstrate that the Castle Hayne Limestone ranges from NP 15 into NP 18, thus comprising strata of Claibornian and Jacksonian age.

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