Hydrogeology of the Atlantic continental margin
Published:January 01, 1988
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F. A. Kohout, Harold Meisler, F. W. Meyer, R. H. Johnston, G. W. Leve, R. L. Wait, 1988. "Hydrogeology of the Atlantic continental margin", The Atlantic Continental Margin, Robert E. Sheridan, John A. Grow
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This paper links extensive hydrogeologic investigations on the Atlantic coastal plain of the United States with geologic and oceanographic studies related to oil exploration on the Atlantic continental margin. Changing sea level caused by ice accumulation during the Pleistocene glacial epoch greatly influenced the recharge, storage, and movement of fresh ground water along the entire reach of the Atlantic seaboard. In the south, artesian aquifers of relatively high permeability convey fresh ground water seaward in coastal plain sediments more or less in hydrodynamic equilibrium with the present level of the sea. In the north, low permeability confining beds and rapid overflooding during the last stages of glacial melting have trapped fresh ground water in artesian aquifers underlying the continental shelf. The intent of this synthesis is to integrate research studies on saltwater intrusion and the geographic occurrence of fresh ground water to describe the complex circulation systems that presently exist.
The Atlantic continental margin is defined as extending from the mainland shoreline to the foot of the continental slope. The continental shelf and slope are subdivisions of the continental margin. The coastal plain extends landward from the shore to the fall line, which marks the eastern border of the piedmont province. The continental shelf is defined as extending from the shore seaward to the 200-m isobath. As used in this report, the term coastal plain sediments applies to all sediments overlying crystalline bedrock extending from the piedmont to the foot of the continental slope.
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The Atlantic Continental Margin
This synthesis covers stratigraphy, depositional processes, and geophysical interpretation of the major onshore and offshore marginal basins from Maine to the Bahamas, and includes an up-to-date review of thinking on regional tectonic history. Additional chapters discuss the theoretical aspects of thermal evolution, subsidence, and seismic stratigraphy as applied to this region. Geological resources including petroleum, water, sand and gravel, hard minerals, and heat flow are reviewed, and environmental hazards such as seismicity, coastal erosion, waste disposal and submarine instability as it relates to site of drilling platforms and mining are evaluated. A summary chapter reviews areas of controversy and suggests key topics for research.