Geology and biostratigraphy of the Potomac River cliffs at Stratford Hall, Westmoreland County, Virginia

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Abstract

The cliffs along the Potomac River at Stratford Hall display extensive exposures of Miocene marine strata that belong successively to the Calvert, Choptank, St. Marys, and Eastover Formations. Within the lower part of this sequence, in the Calvert and Choptank Formations, there is well-developed cyclic stratigraphy. Above the Miocene units lies the marginal marine to deltaic Pleistocene Bacons Castle Formation, which is the highest and youngest formation exposed in the cliffs. The goals of this field trip guide are to (1) show the Miocene formations exposed in the cliffs and discuss the paleoenvironments within which they formed, (2) demonstrate the cyclicity in the Miocene marine formations and discuss its origin, (3) compare and contrast the section exposed at the Stratford and Nomini Cliffs with the classic Miocene Calvert Cliffs sequence exposed to the northeast in Calvert County, Maryland, and the Miocene sequence recovered in the Haynesville cores to the southeast in Richmond County, Virginia, (4) discuss and explain why a detailed correlation among these three places has been so difficult to attain, and (5) show typical lithologies of the Bacons Castle Formation and discuss the paleoenvironments in which they formed.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Geology and biostratigraphy of the Potomac River cliffs at Stratford Hall, Westmoreland County, Virginia
DOI 10.1130/2017.0047(05)
Volume 47
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 28 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Blue Ridge to the Beach: Geological Field Excursions across Virginia
First page 125
Last page 152
Country United States
State Virginia
County Westmoreland County