Abstract

Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 313 recovered Miocene sequences at Holes M0027A and M0029A on the New Jersey shallow shelf that contain a characteristic acid-resistant organic component. The palynofacies within each sequence reflects variations in terrigenous versus authigenic flux through the Miocene that are associated with sea-level change. Very high ratios of terrigenous versus marine palynomorphs and of oxidation-resistant versus susceptible dinocysts are associated with seismic sequence boundaries, consistent with their interpretation as sequence-bounding unconformities generated at times of low sea level. Comparison of palynological distance from shoreline estimates with paleodepth estimates derived from foraminiferal data allows relative sea level to be reconstructed at both sites. Ages assigned using dinocyst biostratigraphy are consistent with other chronostratigraphic indicators allowing sequence boundaries to be correlated with Miocene oxygen isotope (Mi) events. Paleoclimatic evidence from the pollen record supports the global climate changes seen in the oxygen isotope data. Although chronological control is relatively crude, Milankovitch-scale periodicity is suggested for parasequences visible in thick sequences deposited in relatively deep water where substantial accommodation existed, such as during the early Langhian at Site 29 (Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum). Palynological analysis thus supports the long-held hypothesis that glacioeustasy is a dominant process controlling the architecture of continental margins.

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