Upper Cretaceous sequences and sea-level history, New Jersey coastal plain

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doi: 10.1130/B25279.1
Author(s): Miller, Kenneth G.; Sugarman, Peter J.; Browning, James V.; Kominz, Michelle A.; Olsson, Richard K.; Feigenson, Mark D.; Hernandez, John C.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Rutgers University, Department of Geological Sciences, Piscataway, NJ, United States
Other:
New Jersey Geological Survey, United States
Western Michigan University, United States
Volume Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Source: Geological Society of America Bulletin, 116(3-4), p.368-393. Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States. ISSN: 0016-7606 CODEN: BUGMAF
Note: In English. With GSA Data Repository Item 2004043. 95 refs.; illus., incl. sects., 1 table, sketch map
Summary: We developed a Late Cretaceous sea- level estimate from Upper Cretaceous sequences at Bass River and Ancora, New Jersey (ODP [Ocean Drilling Program] Leg 174AX). We dated 11-14 sequences by integrating Sr isotope and biostratigraphy (age resolution ±0.5 m.y.) and then estimated paleoenvironmental changes within the sequences from lithofacies and biofacies analyses. Sequences generally shallow up-section from middle-neritic to inner-neritic paleodepths, as shown by the transition from thin basal glauconite shelf sands (transgressive systems tracts [TST]), to medial-prodelta silty clays (highstand systems tracts [HST]), and finally to upper-delta-front quartz sands (HST). Sea-level estimates obtained by backstripping (accounting for paleodepth variations, sediment loading, compaction, and basin subsidence) indicate that large (>25 m) and rapid (<<1 m.y.) sea-level variations occurred during the Late Cretaceous greenhouse world. The fact that the timing of Upper Cretaceous sequence boundaries in New Jersey is similar to the sea-level lowering records of Exxon Production Research Company (EPR), northwest European sections, and Russian platform outcrops points to a global cause. Because backstripping, seismicity, seismic stratigraphic data, and sediment-distribution patterns all indicate minimal tectonic effects on the New Jersey Coastal Plain, we interpret that we have isolated a eustatic signature. The only known mechanism that can explain such global changes- glacio-eustasy-is consistent with foraminiferal δ18O data. Either continental ice sheets paced sea-level changes during the Late Cretaceous, or our understanding of causal mechanisms for global sea-level change is fundamentally flawed. Comparison of our eustatic history with published ice-sheet models and Milankovitch predictions suggests that small (5-10×106 km3), ephemeral, and areally restricted Antarctic ice sheets paced the Late Cretaceous global sea-level change. New Jersey and Russian eustatic estimates are typically one-half of the EPR amplitudes, though this difference varies through time, yielding markedly different eustatic curves. We conclude that New Jersey provides the best available estimate for Late Cretaceous sea-level variations.
Year of Publication: 2004
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 06 Petrology, Sedimentary; 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Ancora New Jersey; Atlantic Coastal Plain; Backstripping; Bass River; Biostratigraphy; Burlington County New Jersey; Camden County New Jersey; Clastic sediments; Clay; Climate change; Cores; Correlation; Cretaceous; Depositional environment; Eustasy; Foraminifera; Invertebrata; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Leg 174AX; Lithostratigraphy; Magothy Formation; Marine environment; Marshalltown Formation; Merchantville Formation; Mesozoic; Microfossils; Mollusca; Navesink Formation; New Jersey; O-18/O-16; Ocean Drilling Program; Oxygen; Paleoclimatology; Protista; Sand; Sea-level changes; Sediments; Sequence stratigraphy; Shelf environment; Stable isotopes; United States; Upper Cretaceous; Well logs
Coordinates: N393700 N400000 W0744400 W0750800
N393500 N401200 W0742200 W0750500
Record ID: 2004028821
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States