Marine ostracodes from 50 localities were studied to determine the age and elevation of Pleistocene sea levels in the Atlantic coastal plain from Maryland to northern Florida. Using ostracode taxon and concurrent ranges, published planktic biostratigraphic, paleomagnetic, and radiometric data, ostracode assemblage zones representing early (1.8-1.0 my), middle (0.7-0.4 my), and late (0.3-0.01 my) Pleistocene deposition were recognized and used as a basis for correlation. Ostracode biofacies signifying lagoonal, oyster bank, estuarine, open sound, and inner sublittoral environments provided estimated ranges of paleodepths for each locality. From these data the following minimum and maximum Pleistocene sea-level estimates were determined for the southeastern coastal plain: late Pleistocene, 2-10 m from Maryland to northern Florida; middle Pleistocene, 6-15 m in northern South Carolina; early Pleistocene, 4-22 m in central North Carolina, 13-35 m in southern North Carolina, and 6-27 m in South Carolina. Climatically induced glacio-eustatic sea-level fluctuations adequately account for the late Pleistocene sea-level data, but other factors, possibly differential crustal uplift, may have complicated the early Pleistocene record. ?? 1980.
Additional publication details
Biostratigraphic correlation of Pleistocene marine deposits and sea levels, Atlantic coastal plain of the southeastern United States