PALEOCENE-EOCENE THERMAL MAXIMUM LITHOFACIES ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL PLAIN: SEDIMENTALOGICAL ANALYSIS OF 100’S OF STACKED TURBIDITE PACKAGES
The updip facies is characterized by common intervals of stacked fining-upward packages of silt to clay. These packages consist of erosive bases that vary in depth of erosion and angle of contact and are overlain by basal lamina set of white to tan quartz silt and clay with curved ripple lamina (occasionally with very fine sand and/or organic-rich lamina). This in turn is overlain by a wavy parallel lamina set of graded slit and clay, overlain by clay which generally contains numerous very fine laminations (10-26/cm), some organic-rich. Some stacks include another graded clay-silt at the top. Although some up-dip sections are all gray, a typical pattern is gray in the lowest 0.3-1.2 m, pink-red-brown in the middle, and gray at the top 0.3-0.7 m. Further downdip, wisps of silt and faint lamina coupled with more massive intervals result in fewer recognizable fining-upward packages; however the basal 0.3 m is always graded. Colors in intermediate sections are similar to the updip sections except that some sections near the Port Royal fault zone show the middle pink-red-brown with numerous patches of gray throughout. Down-dip sections are all gray. Updip sections contain dinocysts, foraminiferal linings and calcareous microfossils throughout and interpreted as pro-delta front turbidites and/or wave enhanced sediment gravity flows.