Rock-avalanche and ocean-resurge deposits in the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Evidence from the ICDP-USGS Eyreville cores, Virginia, USA
Gregory S. Gohn, David S. Powars, Henning Dypvik, Lucy E. Edwards, 2009. "Rock-avalanche and ocean-resurge deposits in the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Evidence from the ICDP-USGS Eyreville cores, Virginia, USA", The ICDP-USGS Deep Drilling Project in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Results from the Eyreville Core Holes, Gregory S. Gohn, Christian Koeberl, Kenneth G. Miller, Wolf Uwe Reimold
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An unusually thick section of sedimentary breccias dominated by target-sediment clasts is a distinctive feature of the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure. A cored 1766-m-deep section recovered from the central part of this marine-target structure by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)–U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) drilling project contains 678 m of these breccias and associated sediments and an intervening 275-m-thick granite slab. Two sedimentary breccia units consist almost entirely of Cretaceous nonmarine sediments derived from the lower part of the target sediment layer. These sediments are present as coherent clasts and as autoclastic matrix between the clasts. Primary (Cretaceous) sedimentary structures are well preserved in some clasts, and liquefaction and fluidization structures produced at the site of deposition occur in the clasts and matrix. These sedimentary breccias are interpreted as one or more rock avalanches from the upper part of the transient-cavity wall. The little-deformed, unshocked granite slab probably was transported as part of an extremely large slide or avalanche. Water-saturated Cretaceous quartz sand below the slab was transported into the seafloor crater prior to, or concurrently with, the granite slab. Two sedimentary breccia units consist of polymict diamictons that contain cobbles, boulders, and blocks of Cretaceous nonmarine target sediments and less common shocked-rock and melt ejecta in an unsorted, unstratified, muddy, fossiliferous, glauconitic quartz matrix. Much of the matrix material was derived from Upper Cretaceous and Paleogene marine target sediments. These units are interpreted as the deposits of debris flows initiated by the resurge of ocean water into the seafloor crater. Interlayering of avalanche and debris-flow units indicates a partial temporal overlap of the earlier avalanche and later resurge processes. A thin unit of stratified turbidite deposits and overlying laminated fine-grained deposits at the top of the section represents the transition to normal shelf sedimentation.