Continuous split spoon samples from a drill hole penetrating 34 m of coastal plain sediments at Stetson Pit in Dare County, North Carolina were taken for lithologic, aminostratigraphic, faunal (ostracodes) and floral (pollen) analyses. Three distinct aminozones are recognized in the subsurface section based upon D-alloisoleucine/L-isoleucine (A/I) values in each of the molluscan species Mulinia lateralis and Mercenaria sp. Ostracode zonations in the subsurface section are based on percentages of 80 thermophilic and cryophilic species (those living today south and north of Cape Hatteras) and the percentages of brackish water species. Five assemblage zones are delineated. Six pollen assemblage zones are also delineated within the subsurface section based upon study of 48 sediment samples. The subsurface record at Stetson Pit is interpreted to represent portions of four interglacials based upon the combined faunal, floral and aminostratigraphic data. The two younger aminozones, with amino acid age estimates of 100,000??20,000 yr (-7.2 to -11.2 m MSL) and 300,000-500,000 yr (-13 to -14.2 m MSL), represent portions of middle/late Pleistocene interglacials. The lower aminozone (-17.4 to -33 m MSL) spans an interval that probably includes at least two interglacials (based upon faunal and floral records) and has an age estimated to be between 800,000 and 1,300,000 yr. Boundaries delineated by faunal, floral, and amino acid methods do not always coincide, due to sampling constraints and phase lags between the different records. One major unconformity (at -17.4 m MSL) in the Stetson Pit section is easily recognized from lithologic characteristics and may represent a hiatus of as much as 800,000 yr. Lithologic changes associated with all other zone boundaries are subtle and would probably not be considered significant in the absence of faunal, floral, or amino acid data. ?? 1989.
Additional publication details
Stetson Pit, Dare County, North Carolina: An integrated chronologic, faunal, and floral record of subsurface coastal quaternary sediments