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The Parsonsburg Sand, a surface sand largely of Wisconsin age, caps terraces east of some of the major streams and mantles broad areas on the uplands of the central Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland and Delaware. The main body of the formation east and south of Salisbury, Md., ranges from 1.25 to 6.00 m (4-20 ft) in thickness and is a medium-grained moderately feldspathic sand containing a relatively mature heavy-mineral suite. The sand is either stratified or massive, and in some areas contains peaty sand and silt-clay, typically at or near the base of the formation. The organic matter ranges in radiocarbon age from about 30,000 to about 13,000 years B.P. and contains microfloral assemblages suggesting that at the time the sand was deposited the climate was cooler and drier that it is at present. The region may have been a pine-birch barrens in which were small ponds, spruce bogs, and abundant shrubs. The distribution of the sand at or near the position of high stands of the Sangamon sea suggests that the Parsonsburg Sand was derived from sandy shore and nearshore deposits of Sangamon age. Deposition was in part eolian and in part fluvial and lacustrine, probably in small streams and ponds between sand dunes.
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The Parsonsburg Sand in the central Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland and Delaware