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Two cores at the outer margin of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure show significant structural and depositional variations that illuminate its history. Detailed stratigraphy of the Watkins School core reveals that this site is outside the disruption boundary of the crater with respect to its lower part (nonmarine Cretaceous Potomac Formation), but just inside the boundary with respect to its upper part (Exmore Formation and a succession of upper Eocene to Pleistocene postimpact deposits). The site of the U.S. Geological Survey–National Aeronautics and Space Administration Langley core, 6.4 km to the east, lies wholly within the annular trough of the crater.

The Potomac Formation in the Watkins School core is not noticeably impact disrupted. The lower part of crater unit A in the Langley core represents stratigraphically lower, but similarly undeformed material. The Exmore Formation is only 7.8 m thick in the Watkins School core, but it is over 200 m thick in the Langley core, where it contains blocks up to 24 m in intersected diameter. The upper part of the Exmore Formation in the two cores is a polymict diamicton with a stratified zone at the top. The postimpact sedimentary units in the two cores have similar late Eocene and late Miocene depositional histories and contrasting Oligocene, early Miocene, and middle Miocene histories. A paleochannel of the James River removed Pliocene deposits at the Watkins School site, to be filled later with thick Pleistocene deposits. At the Langley site, a thick Pliocene and thinner Pleistocene record is preserved.

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