History of continental shelf and slope sedimentation on the US middle Atlantic margin
Published:January 01, 2014
Kenneth G. Miller, James V. Browning, Gregory S. Mountain, Robert E. Sheridan, Peter J. Sugarman, Scott Glenn, Beth A. Christensen, 2014. "History of continental shelf and slope sedimentation on the US middle Atlantic margin", Continental Shelves of the World: Their Evolution During the Last Glacio-Eustatic Cycle, F. L. Chiocci, A. R. Chivas
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We describe sedimentation on the storm-dominated, microtidal, continental shelf and slope of the eastern US passive continental margin between the Hudson and Wilmington canyons. Sediments here recorded sea-level changes over the past 100 myr and provide a classic example of the interplay among eustasy, tectonism and sedimentation. Long-term margin evolution reflects changes in morphology from a Late Cretaceous–Eocene ramp to Oligocene and younger prograding clinothem geometries, a transition found on several other margins. Deltaic systems influenced Cretaceous and Miocene sedimentation, but, in general, the Maastrichtian–Palaeogene shelf was starved of sediment. Pre-Pleistocene sequences follow a repetitive model, with fining- and coarsening-upward successions associated with transgressions and regressions, respectively. Pleistocene–Holocene sequences are generally quite thin (<20 m per sequence) and discontinuous beneath the modern shelf, reflecting starved sedimentation under high rates of eustatic change and low rates of subsidence. However, Pleistocene sequences can attain great thickness (hundreds of metres) beneath the outermost shelf and continental slope. Holocene sedimentation on the inner shelf reflects transgression, decelerating from rates of approximately 3–4 to around 2 mm a−1 from 5 to 2 ka. Modern shelf sedimentation primarily reflects palimpsest sand sheets plastered and reworked into geostrophically controlled nearshore and shelf shore-oblique sand ridges, and does not provide a good analogue for pre-Pleistocene deposition.
References used in the comparison of all dates for New Jersey localities in Figure 3.8 are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18749.
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Continental Shelves of the World: Their Evolution During the Last Glacio-Eustatic Cycle
The world's continental shelves are the sites of vast resources of food, energy and minerals, the exploitation of which is continuously increasing. Fluctuating global sea levels throughout the Quaternary period produced multiple transgressive and regressive cycles that profoundly affected and shaped these shelves. The complex interactions among climate, sea level, tectonics, oceanography and sediment input have formed distinctive sediment packages on each shelf and provide a guide to the interpretation of older shelf sequences throughout the geological record.
This Memoir compiles studies on 23 selected shelves from all the continents, focusing on their evolution and examining the patterns of sedimentation during the past approximately 125 000 years. In addition to providing basic background information for each area, the chapters consider specific aspects of continental shelf research, from seismic stratigraphy to geomorphology, from palaeoceanography to palaeo sea-level reconstruction and from palaeontology to geochemistry.