Inside the crater, outside the crater: Stratigraphic details of the margin of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, Virginia, USA

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Abstract

Two cores at the outer margin of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure show significant structural and depositional variations that illuminate its history. Detailed stratigraphy of the Watkins School core reveals that this site is outside the disruption boundary of the crater with respect to its lower part (nonmarine Cretaceous Potomac Formation), but just inside the boundary with respect to its upper part (Exmore Formation and a succession of upper Eocene to Pleistocene postimpact deposits). The site of the U.S. Geological Survey-National Aeronautics and Space Administration Langley core, 6.4 km to the east, lies wholly within the annular trough of the crater. The Potomac Formation in the Watkins School core is not noticeably impact disrupted. The lower part of crater unit A in the Langley core represents stratigraphically lower, but similarly undeformed material. The Exmore Formation is only 7.8 m thick in the Watkins School core, but it is over 200 m thick in the Langley core, where it contains blocks up to 24 m in intersected diameter. The upper part of the Exmore Formation in the two cores is a polymict diamicton with a stratified zone at the top. The postimpact sedimentary units in the two cores have similar late Eocene and late Miocene depositional histories and contrasting Oligocene, early Miocene, and middle Miocene histories. A paleochannel of the James River removed Pliocene deposits at the Watkins School site, to be filled later with thick Pleistocene deposits. At the Langley site, a thick Pliocene and thinner Pleistocene record is preserved. © 2010 The Geological Society of America. All rights reserved.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Inside the crater, outside the crater: Stratigraphic details of the margin of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, Virginia, USA
DOI 10.1130/2010.2465(19)
Volume 465
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Publisher location Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution IV
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center, Florence Bascom Geoscience Center
Description 74 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
First page 319
Last page 393
Country United States
State Virginia
Other Geospatial Chesapeake Bay
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