Date of Award

5-12-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Beth A. Christensen - Chair

Second Advisor

Eirik J. Krogstad

Third Advisor

Clark Alexander

Fourth Advisor

J. Marion Wampler

Abstract

Pleistocene New Jersey shelf sedimentology is strongly influenced by glacially driven sea level changes. A combination of regressive shoreline processes, subaerial exposure, fluvial downcutting, and deposition and reworking during transgression has influenced the NJ shelf sediment composition. Sediment provenance and transport history may be determined on a shelf environment through analysis of grain size distribution, heavy mineral content, magnetic mineral concentrations, and isotopic dating methods. A combination of surface grab and stratigraphic samples were analyzed within the study area. Relatively high percentages of heavy minerals were found in the 2 phi and 3 phi size fractions and hornblende grains provided K-Ar age values indicating two groups of sediment sources. The first source is Grenville with apparent ages above 900 Ma deposited during marine OIS 1. The second source is a mixed assemblage of Grenvillian and Paleozoic sources deposited during marine OIS 3, with apparent ages of approximately 850 ± 20 Ma.

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