Abstract

Deep Sea Drilling Project Sites 604 and 60S on the upper continental rise are the first of a series of cored holes along the “New Jersey transect” which, when completed, will provide the first comprehensive dipwise suite of drill holes across a passive margin from the coastal plain to the abyssal plain. Our drilling results document the age of important seismic sequence boundaries and allow their correlation with wells on the continental shelf and slope as well as with the regional oceanic seismic stratigraphy.

Hole 605,156 km (97 mi) southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and drilled 816.7 m down to mid-Maestrichtian limestones, penetrated a near-complete Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary section overlain by a 200-m expanded Paleocene sequence. Unusually high amounts of terrigenous silts and glauconite are present at the boundary and immediately above. Among the several hypotheses discussed, we suggest that the terrigenous silts and glauconite may represent a high-energy event such as a tsunami caused by a Cretaceous/Tertiary impact.

Site 604, 5 km (3 mi) seaward of Site 605, was terminated in upper Miocene glauconitic sands and debris flows at 294.5 m by unstable hole conditions. These sediments contain shelf-derived gravels and exotic blocks of Eocene chalk (up to 50 cm across) eroded from bedrock that is today widely exposed on the adjacent slope. Our drilling results show that denudation of the Eocene units was not limited to the Oligocene Au erosional event, but that major loss occurred during late Miocene and later glacial sea-level lowstands.

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