The primary objective of the Newark Basin Coring Project (NBCP) was to document the record of astronomically-driven climate cycles preserved in 200 to 230 million-year-old lake sediments by drilling a series of core holes in the Newark rift basin of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Variations in the Earth's orbital parameters are recognized as the underlying pacemaker of long term climate change; they are responsible, for example, for the timing of the advance and retreat of the ice ages of the last 1.8 million years, as well the long term the wet-dry cycles that affect regions such as the Sahara Desert. These wet-dry cycles existed even during times in when the Earth was ice-free. The Newark rift basin cores provide the longest continuous record of these astronomically-driven climate cycles and are critical to analyzing global change and calibrating the residuum of anthropogenic change. In addition, this very detailed record of climate change was deposited during a time when the distribution of the continents was very different than today; therefore, the NBCP provides a basis for critical tests of numerical models designed to predict future climate and ecological disruptions.
Other major goals of the NBCP were the construction of a high resolution, astronomically calibrated, magnetic polarity time scale for the Late Triassic, and the production of a detailed record of the evolution of a continental rift basin.
From 1990-1993, a total of 6770 m of continuous core was collected at seven sites in the central part of the basin in New Jersey using an offset drilling method using two different drilling systems. The cores demonstrate a record of 30,000,000 years of cyclical climate change in strata that formed in an tropical continental setting of the ice-free world of Late Triassic Pangea.
DRILLING SYSTEM FOR THE NBCP
NBCP HOME PAGE
NBCP PROJECT DESCRIPTION
PROJECT LEADERS (P. OLSEN & D. KENT)
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND ABSTRACTS OF THE NBCP
NEWARK BASIN REPORT AT CDS
THE LDEO CLIMATE GROUP
LDEO Home Page Triassic-Jurassic Working Group