We have developed a Miocene sequence stratigraphic framework using data from recently drilled boreholes in the New Jersey Coastal Plain. Sequences are shallowing upward, unconformity-bounded units; fine-grained shelf and prodelta sediments grade upward to delta front and shallow-marine sands, corresponding to confining bed-aquifer couplets. By dating Miocene sequences using Sr-isotope stratigraphy, and mapping with borehole data and geophysical logs, we can predict the continuity and effectiveness of the confining beds and aquifers. The following are illustrated on a 90-km basinward dip section: (1) the composite confining bed is comprised of the KwO and lower Kw1a (ca. 23.8-20.5 Ma) sequences downdip at Atlantic City, and the Kw1b, Kw1a and older sequences updip (ca. 69.3-20.6 Ma), and is continuous throughout most of the coastal plain; (2) the major confined aquifer, the Atlantic City 800-foot sand, is comprised of the upper Kw1a and Kw1b sequences (ca. 20.5-20.2 Ma) and is an areally continuous sand that is interconnected with the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system updip of Mays Landing; (3) the confining bed above the Atlantic City 800-foot sand is comprised of the Kw2a, Kw2b, and Kw3 sequences (18.1-13.3 Ma) and is an extensive confining bed that pinches out updip. These sequences and aquifer-confining bed couplets are linked to global sea-level changes evinced by the ??18O record. We conclude that sequence stratigraphy is a powerful tool when applied to regional hydrogeologic problems, although basinal tectonic differences and localized variations in sediment supply can affect aquifer thickness and permeability.
Additional publication details
Correlation of Miocene sequences and hydrogeologic units, New Jersey Coastal Plain