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Dinoflagellate species and organic facies evidence of marine transgression and regression in the atlantic coastal plain

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

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Abstract

Palynological evidence is used to date and interpret depositional environments of sediments of Campanian, Maestrichtian and early Danian ages cored in three wells from South Carolina and Georgia. The evidence is usefil for distinguishing environments which lithofacies evidence indicates a range from nonmarine to coastal to inner neritic shallow shelf. Numerous dinoflagellate species and an organic facies defined abundant amoprphous debris (amorphous debris facies) distinguish shallow shelf sediments deposited during marine transgression. The nearshore amorphous debris facies of late Campanian age consists of heterogenous assemblages dominated by Palaeohystrichophora infusorioides Deflandre or Hystrichosphaerina varians (May). The farther offshore amorphous debris facies of late early Maestrichtian to late Maestrichtian age consists of heterogenous assemblages dominated by Glaphyrocysta retiintexta (Cookson) and/or Areoligera medusettiformis (Wetzel). The larger number of dinoflagellate species in the offshore facies represents the maximum transgression detected in the investigated interval. A multiple occurrence datum defined by the combination of first appearance, klast appearances and sole occurrence of dinoflagellate species at the base of each interval distinguished by the amorphous debris facies provides the first evidence of marine transgression. Relatively small organic residues consisting of intertinite and few or no palynomorphs define the inertinite facies in nonmarine deltaic and in coastal (lagoonal, tidal flat, interdistributary bary) sediments. Dinocyt{star, open}s are absent in the nonmarine sediments and are represented by few species and few specimens in the coastal inertinite faceis. A third organic facies (vascular tissue facies) is defined by the abundance of land plant tissue. Sporomorph species, including those of the Normapolles pollen group and of pteridophyte spores, comprise a large proportion of the total palynomorph flora in the inertinite and vascular tissue facies. The vascular tissue facies occurs in the proximal prodelta and nearshore shallow shelf lithofacies of early Maestrichtian age. Baed in the sequence of organuic facies, dinoflagellate species abundance, and lithofacies in the investigated wells, the nonmarine and coastal inertinite facies was first deposited and was followed during the late Campanian by a marine trangression when the nearshore amorphous debris facies was deposited. This was followed in the early Maestrichtian by the influx of terrigenous organic matter (vascular tissue facies) in response to deltaic progradation on the shallow shelf. A marine regression occured towards the close of the early Maestrichtian, emplacing the coastal inertinite facies. The major marine transgression occured near the end of the early Maestrichtian, developing a farther offshore amorphous debris facies on an expanded continental shelf which persisted through the late Maestrichtian. The inertinite facies returned during marine regression in the approximate position of the Maestrichtian/Danian boudnary. ?? 1989.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Dinoflagellate species and organic facies evidence of marine transgression and regression in the atlantic coastal plain
Series title:
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume
74
Issue:
1-2
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
23
Last page:
47
Number of Pages:
25