Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


BALSON, Audra E., Geosciences, RETTEW Associates, Inc, 3020 Columbia Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603, SELF-TRAIL, Jean M., U.S. Geological Survey, MS 926A, Reston, VA 20192 and TERRY Jr, Dennis O., Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122,

The Sunny Point bed is a newly recognized Upper Cretaceous unit identified in the Southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain. This unit is confined to the subsurface of the outer Coastal Plain of South and North Carolina, and is located from the section at 1,320.0 ft to 1,192.0 ft below ground surface in the Kure Beach corehole (NC-C-1-2001) from New Hanover County, NC. The Sunny Point bed consists of light olive-gray to greenish-gray, fine to coarse micaceous sands and light-olive-brown and grayish-red silty, sandy clays. The clay-rich strata typically contain ironstone, lignitized wood, root traces, hematite concretions, goethite, limonite and spherosiderites. Heavy mineral analyses indicate the presence of siderite, ilmenite, leucoxene, monazite and barite. The Sunny Point bed is identified in cores from Bladen and New Hanover Counties, NC, as well as Dorchester and Horry Counties, SC. In the past, Sunny Point beds were incorrectly assigned to the Middendorf Formation or included in the Cape Fear Formation. However, these sediments occupy a stratigraphic position between the marine sediments of the Cenomanian Clubhouse Formation below and a Coniacian unnamed marine unit above at Kure Beach. Contacts between these units are sharp and unconformable. Palynomorph assemblages from two basal Sunny Point samples are assigned to the Complexiopollis-Atlantopollis zone (zone IV). These findings, combined with the presence of upper Cenomanian marine sediments below the Sunny Point and lower to middle Coniacian marine sediments above, strongly suggests that the non-marine Sunny Point bed is latest Cenomanian and/or Turonian in age. Sedimentologic and petrographic analyses suggest that the Sunny Point was likely deposited in a low energy fluvial flood plain environment where channel sedimentation was minimal.