Late Cenozoic fluvial deposits and erosional landforms in the New Jersey Piedmont record two episodes of valley incision, one in the Late Miocene and one in the Early Pleistocene, separated by periods of planation and fluvial deposition. The upland erosion surface and a fluvial gravel are the remnants of a low-relief Late Miocene landscape. Late Miocene incision was followed by deposition of a fluvial plain and cutting of straths in the Pliocene. Early Pleistocene incision produced the present valleys, which contain Middle to Late Pleistocene fluvial deposits. The two incisions correspond to permanent glacioeustatic lowering during expansion of the Antarctic ice sheet in the Middle to Late Miocene and development of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets in the Late Pliocene. Bordering Coastal Plain marine deposits indicate that the upland erosion surface was formed during a rising sea-level trend between the Late Oligocene and Middle Miocene. The Pliocene plain and straths formed during a period of rising sea level in the Early Pliocene. The stratigraphic record indicates that the oldest preserved landforms are no older than Late Miocene, that landscape planation in coastal regions of low-relief passive margins can be achieved in <20 m.yr., and that these surfaces can be incised and dissected in <5 m.yr.
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Late cenozoic fluvial stratigraphy of the New Jersey piedmont: A record of glacioeustasy, planation, and incision on a low-relief passive margin