Abstract

A study of 150 bottom sediment samples from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, provides a basis for establishing their major depositional facies and their relationships to the environmental framework, including the immediate provenance areas. Texturally the sands in shoaling waters are due to tidal current activity, while the argillaceous silts are deposited in deeper bathymetric entrapments. By establishing the gross mineralogy of the samples it is possible to divide the deposits into types equivalent in composition to graywackes, arkoses, feldspathic sands, and quartzose sands found in the geologic column. Their genesis is explained in terms of the influence of the local environment. Data on the environmental variables, petrography, texture, X-ray mineralogy, and trace-elements are presented and compared with other marine bottom sediments as well as with comparable ancient lithologies. The findings are amenable to establishing environmental and sedimentary criteria for the interpretation and reconstruction of ancient stratigraphic facies. Of particular interest are the photomicrographs which can be realistically compared with those of sedimentary rocks.

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