Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Overview of North Carolina Coastal Plain Geology

By
Charles W. Hoffman
Charles W. Hoffman
North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, Geological Survey Section
,
Raleigh, N.C.
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 1986

Abstract

The North Carolina Coastal Plain, covering an area of approximately 20,000 square miles, comprises 40% of the state. The flat to gently undulating surface of the Coastal Plain gradually increases in elevation westward from the coast to an average of 450 feet above sea level along the inner margin where coastal plain sediments pinch out against Late Proterozoic to Paleozoic crystalline rocks of the Piedmont. The Coastal Plain consists of a complex, wedge-shaped mass of sedimentary rocks that generally dip and thicken in an eastward to southeastward direction. These sediments overlie a crystalline “basement” composed of metamorphosed sedimentary and igneous rocks like those of the Piedmont. Figure 1 shows the depth below sea level to the top of crystalline basement and delineates the major tectonic feature of the Coastal Plain, a southeast plunging basement high known as the Cape Fear Arch.

Sediments composing the coastal plain section range in age from Early Mesozoic to Recent. They are predominantly shallow marine to marginal marine in origin, but a wide spectrum of sedimentary environments is represented.

Regional onshore (Brown et al., 1972) and offshore (Popenoe, 1985) studies have characterized the sedimentary package of the North Carolina Continental Margin as consisting of geometrically complex, unconformity-bounded sequences which exhibit a high degree of lateral lithologic variability. Although these studies agree with regard to the areal distribution and relative thicknesses of major chronostrati-graphic units in areas common to both, their authors propose different mechanisms to account for their observations.

Brown et al. (1972), based on

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

SEPM Field Trip Guidebook

Southeastern United States: Third Annual Midyear Meeting, 1986, Raleigh, North Carolina

Daniel A. Textoris
Daniel A. Textoris
Search for other works by this author on:
SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
5
ISBN electronic:
9781565762800
Publication date:
January 01, 1986

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal