Paper No. 15
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
SEDIMENTOLOGY OF SANDY HOOK BEACH, NEW JERSEY
Sandy Hook is a 7 mile, 1,665 acre barrier island that is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Raritan Bay along the Atlantic Coastal Plain. It is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, which is part of the National Park Service. Sandy Hook is a spit that is built by the northward longshore drift along the New Jersey Coastline. Sediments are also added by the Shrewsbury and Navesink River estuaries. The barrier island has changed much since it was first formed. Since the last ice sheets covered North America, the New Jersey shore line has undergone approximately 80-90 miles of easterly movement. The research conducted by the investigators included sample collection and laboratory work at York College (CUNY). Preliminary laboratory work included grain size analysis, heavy mineral separation, and identification of mineral grains. Twelve samples were collected for this research. The data was represented graphically and statistically. After the initial heavy mineral separation, it was determined that the minerals with low specific gravity, are composed predominantly of quartz. The minerals with high specific gravity were predominantly Magnetite,Tourmaline, Epidote, Zircon, Rutile and Garnet. The heavy minerals were aggregated on the surface of the beach when the samples were collected in March. This is due to wind blowing across the beach during the winter months. The sediments are composed mostly of medium grained sand and range between 0.4 and 0.2 mm. This is true for sample sites 3 to 12. Sample sites 1 and 2, however, were mostly of pebble and gravel sized sediments. These two samples were closest to the waters edge. The sediments are also strongly negatively skewed. Preliminary sedimentological and compositional data suggest that collected samples were initially derived from reworked Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments. Further research will determine the correlation between sediments from Sandy Hook with other beaches along the New Jersey Shore.
Funded by US Dept. of Education (USDOE) Grant titled "Enhancing African American Students' Talents."