Uppermost Campanian Maestrichtian Strontium Isotopic, Biostratigraphic, and Sequence Stratigraphic Framework of the New-Jersey Coastal-Plain

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Geological Society of America Bulletin
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Firm stratigraphic correlations are needed to evaluate the global significance of unconformity bounded units (sequences). We correlate the well-developed uppermost Campanian and Maestrichtian sequences of the New Jersey Coastal Plain to the geomagnetic polarity time scale (GPTS) by integrating Sr-isotopic stratigraphy and biostratigraphy. To do this, we developed a Maestrichtian (ca. 73-65 Ma) Sr-isotopic reference section at Deep Sea Drilling Project Hole 525A in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. Maestrichtian strata can then be dated by measuring their Sr-87/Sr-86 composition, calibrating to the GPTS of S. C. Cande and D. V. Kent (1993, personal commun.), and using the equation Age (Ma) = 37 326.894 - 52 639.89 (Sr-87/Sr-86). Sr-stratigraphic resolution for the Maestrichtian is estimated as +/-1.2 to +/-2 m.y.At least two unconformity-bounded units comprise the uppermost Campanian to Maestrichtian strata in New Jersey. The lower one, the Marshalltown sequence, is assigned to calcareous nannofossil Zones CC20/21 (approximatelyNC19) and CC22b (approximatelyNC20). It ranges in age from approximately74.1 to 69.9 Ma based on Sr-isotope age estimates. The overlying Navesink sequence is assigned to calcareous nannoplankton Zones CC25-26 (approximately NC21-23); it ranges in age from 69.3 to 65 Ma based on Sr-isotope age estimates. The upper part of this sequence, the Tinton Formation, has no calcareous planktonic control; Sr-isotopes provide an age estimate of 66 +/- 1.2 Ma (latest Maestrichtian).Sequence boundaries at the base and the top of the Marshalltown sequence match boundaries elsewhere in the Atlantic Coastal Plain (Owens and Gohn, 1985) and the inferred global sea-level record of Haq et al. (1987); they support eustatic changes as the mechanism controlling depositional history of this sequence. However, the latest Maestrichtian record in New Jersey does not agree with Haq et al. (1987); we attribute this to correlation and time-scale differences near the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. High sedimentation rates in the latest Maestrichtian of New Jersey (Shrewsbury Member of the Red Bank Formation and the Tinton Formation) suggest tectonic uplift and/or rapid progradation during deposition of the highstand systems tract.


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