The Holocene transgression of the Delaware Bay estuary and adjacent Atlantic coast results from the combined effect of regional crustal subsidence and eustasy. Together, the estuary and ocean coast constitute a small sedimentary basin whose principal depocenter has migrated with the transgression. A millenial time series of isopach and paleogeographic reconstructions for the migrating depocenter outlines the basin-wide pattern of sediment distribution and accumulation. Upland sediments entering the basin through the estuarine turbidity maximum accumulate in tidal wetland or open water sedimentary environments. Wind-wave activity at the edge of the tidal wetlands erodes the aggraded Holocene section and builds migrating washover barriers. Along the Atlantic and estuary coasts of Delaware, the area of the upland environment decreases from 2.0 billion m2 to 730 million m2 during the transgression. The area of the tidal wetland environment increases from 140 million to 270 million m2, and due to the widening of the estuary the area of open water increases from 190 million to 1.21 billion m2. Gross uncorrected rates of sediment accumulation for the tidal wetlands decrease from 0.64 mm/yr at 6 ka to 0.48 mm/yr at 1 ka. In the open water environments uncorrected rates decrease from 0.50 mm/yr to 0.04 mm/yr over the same period. We also present data on total sediment volumes within the tidal wetland and open water environments at specific intervals during the Holocene. ?? 1992.
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Holocene depocenter migration and sediment accumulation in Delaware Bay: a submerging marginal marine sedimentary basin