Along the Pamunkey River and its tributaries can be found a very complete, well-preserved, Tertiary stratigraphic record that reflects the sea-level changes as well as the local tectonic history of the central Virginia Coastal Plain. Using this record, I have described the lower Tertiary units and proposed a sequential model for their occurrence. Sediments examined in this study range in age from early Paleocene to latest Oligocene or earliest Miocene. Upper Tertiary units are described where they occur in the same sections with the lower Tertiary beds. The Brightseat Formation (lower Paleocene), Aquia Formation (upper Paleocene), Marlboro Clay (upper Paleocene), Nanjemoy Formation (lower Eocene), Piney Point Formation (middle Eocene) and Old Church Formation (new unit, upper Oligocene and lower Miocene) were studied. The definitions of the Piscataway and Paspotansa Members of the Aquia are amended, and a lectostratotype (principal reference section) is designated for those units as well as the Aquia on the Potomac River just below the mouth of Aquia Creek. A lectostratotype section is also designated for the Nanjemoy and its two members, the Potapaco and the Woodstock. That section is on the Potomac above Popes Creek. Beds assigned to the Piney Point and Old Church Formations, previously known only in the subsurface, crop out extensively on the Pamunkey River. A hypostratotype (reference section) is selected for the Piney Point Formation on the Pamunkey River at Horseshoe. The Old Church Formation (named herein) is included in the Chesapeake Group. Areal extent of the stratigraphic units was determined by correlation of outcropping beds on the Pamunkey, Patuxent, Potomac, Rappahannock, Mattaponi, Chickahominy, and James Rivers supplemented by well data. Comparisons of the onlap histories of the Salisbury, Albemarle, and Charleston Embayments indicate a number of simultaneous transgressive events implying global sea-level rises. More restricted transgressions appear to be the result of local downwarping.
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Stratigraphy and characteristic mollusks of the Pamunkey Group (lower Tertiary) and the Old Church Formation of the Chesapeake Group; Virginia Coastal Plain