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Connecting onshore and offshore near-surface geology: Delaware's sand inventory project

Marine Georesources and Geotechnology

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1080/106411999273855

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Abstract

Beginning in 1988, the Delaware Geological Survey began a program to inventory on-land sand resources suitable for beach nourishment. The inventory included an assessment of the native beach textures using existing data and developing parameters of what would be considered suitable sand textures for Delaware's Atlantic beaches. An assessment of the economics of on-land sand resources was also conducted, and it was determined that the cost of the sand was competitive with offshore dredging costs. In addition, the sand resources were put into a geologic context for purposes of predicting which depositional environments and lithostratigraphic units were most likely to produce suitable sand resources. The results of the work identified several suitable on-land sand resource areas in the Omar and Beaverdam formations that were deposited in barrier-tidal delta and fluvial-estuarine environments, respectively. The identified on-land resources areas have not been utilized due to difficulties of truck transport and development pressures in the resource areas. The Delaware Geological Survey's participation in years 8, 9, and 10 of the Continental Margins Program was developed to extend the known resource areas onshore to offshore Delaware in order to determine potential offshore sand resources for beach nourishment. Years 8 and 9 involved primarily the collection of all available data on the offshore geology. These data included all seismic lines, surface grab samples, and cores. The data were filtered for those that had reliable locations and geologic information that could be used for geologic investigations. Year 10 completed the investigations onshore by construction of a geologic cross-section from data along the coast of Delaware from Cape Henlopen to Fenwick. This cross section identified the geologic units and potential sand resource bodies as found immediately along the coast. These units and resources are currently being extended offshore and tied to known and potential sand resources as part of the continuing cooperative effort between the Delaware Geological Survey and the Minerals Management Service's INTERMAR office as sand resources are identified in federal waters off Delaware. Offshore sand resources are found in the Pliocene Beaverdam Formation offshore where overlying Quaternary units have been stripped, in the tidal delta complexes of several Quaternary units likely equivalent to the onshore Omar Formation, and in late Pleistocene- and Holocene-age shoal complexes. Onshore lithostratigraphic units can be traced offshore and show another reason for continued geologic mapping both onshore and offshore.The Delaware Geological Survey's participation in years 8, 9, and 10 of the Continental Margins Program was developed to extend the known resource areas onshore to offshore Delaware in order to determine potential offshore sand resources for beach nourishment. Years 8 and 9 involved primarily the collection of all available data on the offshore geology. These data included all seismic lines, surface grab samples, and cores. The data were filtered for those that had reliable locations and geologic information that could be used for geologic investigations. Year 10 completed the investigations onshore by construction of a geologic cross-section from data along the coast of Delaware from cape Henlopen to Fenwick.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Connecting onshore and offshore near-surface geology: Delaware's sand inventory project
Series title:
Marine Georesources and Geotechnology
DOI:
10.1080/106411999273855
Volume
17
Issue:
2-3
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publisher location:
London, United Kingdom
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
185
Number of Pages:
1