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Integrated Late Santonian-Early Campanian Sequence Stratigraphy New Jersey Coastal Plain: Implications to Global Sea-Level Studies

Svetlana F. Mizintseva, James V. Browning, and Kenneth G. Miller
Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Integration of biostratigraphy, benthic foraminiferal biofacies, lithology, and gamma logs from New Jersey coastal plain delineates unconformities, allowing identification of three sequences within the Merchantville Formation (MeI, Me II, Me III). The ages of these sequences have been constrained by calcareous nannoplankton biostratigraphy (Me I: CC16; Me II: CC17-18; Me III: CC18-19) from 78.8 to 85.0 Ma. The ages of Merchantville sequences boundaries are similar to those reported by Haq (1987), Hardenbol (1998), Harris et al. (2006), and Hancock et al. (1993), implicating a global cause for the origin. Close correlation in ages of the Merchantville sequences boundaries and deep-sea benthic foraminiferal δ18Ο increases from ODP site 511 (Franklin Plateau) implies that the late Santonian-early Campanian sea-level falls can be attributed to development of ice-sheets. Comparison of our sea-level estimates (based on New Jersey coastal plain paleobathymetry, Kominz et al. [in review]) with modeling data suggest that ice sheets in late Santonian-early Campanian were paced by Milankovitch forcing. The timing of eustatic falls calculated from Milankovitch orbital solutions is similar to the New Jersey margin backstripping record (Kominz et al., in review).

Close correlation in ages of the Merchantville sequences boundaries, global sea-level falls, and δ18Ο increases suggests that the Merchantville sequences on the New Jersey coastal plain are connected to late Santonian-early Campanian global eustatic variations and provides possible evidence for existence of ice sheets in the late Santonian- early Campanian Greenhouse world.


AAPG Search and Discover Article #90078©2008 AAPG Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas