Abstract

High-resolution seismic reflection data from the inner shelf and coastal zones of central New Jersey document the presence of two depositional sequences. Seismic facies analysis of the lower sequence indicates the presence of a submerged barrier-island complex ∼20 m below present sea level and 0.2 to 1.7 km seaward of the modern coastline. Vibracore data from within the study area and correlation to an extensive seismic data set that extends farther offshore identify this submerged barrier as the maximum highstand shoreface associated with the middle Wisconsin (oxygen isotope stage 3) interstade. The results indicate that sea level was well below its present-day level during the middle Wisconsin, and not at or above the present level, as has been frequently proposed.

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