Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


STANTON, Christopher1, CULVER, Stephen1, MALLINSON, David1, RIGGS, Stanley1, CORBETT, D. Reide2, HOFFMAN, C.W.3 and THIELER, E.R.4, (1)Department of Geological Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, (2)Geological Sciences and the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, (3)North Carolina Geological Survey, Raleigh Field Office, 1620 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699, (4)United States Geological Survey, 384 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543,

Two hundred vibracores were taken from 1994-2001 off the coast of the Outer Banks, North Carolina, to define the sand resources in this region. Twenty four of these cores from the inner continental shelf between Oregon Inlet and Cape Hatteras have been subjected to lithofacies and biofacies analysis and indicate the existence of early Holocene estuarine sediments ranging from 12 to 24 meters below mean sea level. Estuarine mud, restricted to the central portion of the field area, lies on Pleistocene and early Holocene sand and is overlain by modern Holocene sand containing typical inner shelf foraminiferal assemblages. Radiocarbon age estimates on macrofossils from several cores indicate a period of estuarine deposition from ~10,000 to 7000 cal. years before present. Similar estuarine mud has been cored in Pamlico Sound. Radiocarbon age estimates indicate initial flooding of the Pamlico Sound basin commenced around 7000 cal. years before present. The nature and extent of the interconnection (if any) between the two estuarine systems is being elucidated by interpretation of the lithofacies and biofacies data in the context of C/N ratios and extensive seismic surveys of the inner shelf.