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Postimpact deposition in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Variations in eustasy, compaction, sediment supply, and passive-aggressive tectonism

By
Andrew A. Kulpecz
Andrew A. Kulpecz
Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA
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Kenneth G. Miller
Kenneth G. Miller
Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA
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James V. Browning
James V. Browning
Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA
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Lucy E. Edwards
Lucy E. Edwards
U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, Virginia 20192, USA
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David S. Powars
David S. Powars
U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, Virginia 20192, USA
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Peter P. McLaughlin, Jr.
Peter P. McLaughlin, Jr.
Delaware Geological Survey, 257 Academy Street, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA
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Ashley D. Harris
Ashley D. Harris
Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA
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Mark D. Feigenson
Mark D. Feigenson
Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2009

The Eyreville and Exmore, Virginia, core holes were drilled in the inner basin and annular trough, respectively, of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, and they allow us to evaluate sequence deposition in an impact crater. We provide new high-resolution geochronologic (<1 Ma) and sequence-stratigraphic interpretations of the Exmore core, identify 12 definite (and four possible) postimpact depositional sequences, and present comparisons with similar results from Eyreville and other mid-Atlantic core holes. The concurrence of increases in δ18O with Chesapeake Bay impact structure sequence boundaries indicates a primary glacioeustatic control on deposition. However, regional comparisons show the differential preservation of sequences across the mid-Atlantic margin. We explain this distribution by the compaction of impactites, regional sediment-supply changes, and the differential movement of basement structures. Upper Eocene strata are thin or missing updip and around the crater, but they thicken into the inner basin (and offshore to the southeast) due to rapid crater infilling and concurrent impactite compaction. Oligocene sequences are generally thin and highly dissected throughout the mid-Atlantic region due to sediment starvation and tectonism, except in southeastern New Jersey. Regional tectonic uplift of the Norfolk Arch coupled with a southward decrease in sediment supply resulted in: (1) largely absent Lower Miocene sections around the Chesapeake Bay impact structure compared to thick sections in New Jersey and Delaware; (2) thick Middle Miocene sequences across the Delmarva Peninsula that thin south of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure; and (3) upper Middle Miocene sections that pinch out just north of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure. Conversely, the Upper Miocene–Pliocene section is thick across Virginia, but it is poorly represented in New Jersey because of regional variations in relative subsidence.

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GSA Special Papers

The ICDP-USGS Deep Drilling Project in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Results from the Eyreville Core Holes

Gregory S. Gohn
Gregory S. Gohn
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, USA
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Christian Koeberl
Christian Koeberl
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, USA
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Kenneth G. Miller
Kenneth G. Miller
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
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Wolf Uwe Reimold
Wolf Uwe Reimold
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
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Geological Society of America
Volume
458
ISBN print:
9780813724584
Publication date:
January 01, 2009

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