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Quaternary geology of the Rhode Island inner shelf

Marine Geology

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Abstract

Five sedimentary units and three erosional unconformities identified in high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles reveal the stratigraphic framework and Quaternary history of the inner continental shelf south of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Late Tertiary to early Pleistocene rivers eroded the pre-Mesozoic bedrock and the Upper Cretaceous to lower Tertiary coastal plain and continental shelf strata to form a lowland and cuesta having a north-facing escarpment. The lowland and landward flanks of the cuesta were modified by glaciers during Pleistocene time and subsequently were overlain by drift and end moraine deposits of the late Wisconsinan ice advance. During deglaciation, freshwater lakes formed between the retreating ice and end moraines. Prior to sea-level rise, the drift and older deposits were cut by streams flowing south and southwestward toward Block Island Sound. As sea level rose, postglacial valleys were partly filled by fluvial, freshwater-peat, estuarine and salt-marsh deposits. Transgressing seas eroded the sea floor, exposing bedrock and coastal plain outcrops, and deposited marine sediments. ?? 1983.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Quaternary geology of the Rhode Island inner shelf
Series title:
Marine Geology
Volume
53
Issue:
1-2
Year Published:
1983
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Marine Geology
First page:
41
Last page:
53