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Seismic Sequence Stratigraphic Interpretation of Lower to Middle Miocene Sediments Offshore New Jersey

S. Karakaya, G. S. Mountain, K. G. Miller, and D. Monteverde
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA

The continental shelf offshore New Jersey is a classic location of prograding clinoform stratigraphy that has evolved under the influence of the interplay of several variables. These include changes in relative sea level, thermo flexural subsidence, plus sediment supply, compaction and loading. In this study, seismic profiles of well-developed lower to middle Miocene sequences across the middle shelf are traced and analyzed to learn about how passive margins grow when provided with a large source of sediment from the adjacent coastline. In addition to a more detailed history than derived from prior studies, this study reveals a record of previously unreported sediment erosion and possible global climate influence on stratigraphic evolution.

Candidate sequence boundaries are identified by seismic reflector termination geometries in high-resolution Multi-Channel seismic profiles and traced across the grid area. Eleven candidate sequence boundaries are identified and system tract positions of each sequence are documented.

Age estimates taken from published studies show that the 11 middle Miocene sequences reported here span the interval between ~11.8-12.9 Ma, suggesting an average interval between each of 100 kyr. Clinoform rollovers prograded during the development of the sequences identified in the study area, beginning at a time that coincides with a major shift in ∂18O towards higher values and about at the time of development of the permanent East Antarctic ice sheet. Grain size distribution of the prograding clinoforms is predicted by extrapolating Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 313’s lithostratigraphic analysis of lower Miocene successions.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90182©2013 AAPG/SEG Student Expo, Houston, Texas, September 16-17, 2013