Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
SEDIMENTOLOGY OF ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, NEW JERSEY
Island Beach State Park, at almost 10 miles in length, is the largest undeveloped stretch of barrier islands on the New Jersey coast, and one of the largest in the United States. This barrier island is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. The research includes sample collection and laboratory work at York College (CUNY). Preliminary laboratory work includes grain size analysis, heavy mineral separation, and XRF chemical analysis. Sieve analysis data is represented statistically and graphically. Results indicate that the sediments are well sorted, having an average standard deviation of 0.43Φ, with a near symmetrical distribution (average skewness -0.10). The sediments are mesokurtic, and are predominately medium grained sand of average Mean 1.24 Φ. Initial heavy mineral separation revealed the sand is composed predominately of minerals of low specific gravity, such as quartz and feldspars. These minerals comprise 91-99%, by weight, of the sand grains. Trace amounts of heavy minerals such as well-rounded to subrounded zircon, rutile, magnetite, and tourmaline are present indicating that the sand was reworked from older Tertiary and Quaternary marine and barrier island sediments. Trace elements such as Zr, Hf, Ti, Ce, Cr, and Cu also suggest winnowing of sediments by hydrauilic sorting and ultimate enrichment of these elements in the sand. The deposition and winnowing of sand on the barrier island is apparently in equilibrium. What this means, is that there has been little change in the overall size of the barrier island. Since the park is relatively untouched by human development, the geologic and biologic forces that shape the barrier island have been undisturbed for hundreds of years. This makes the park an ideal environment for scientific study, particularly from environmental conservation point of view .