RI37 Stratigraphic Nomenclature of Nonmarine Cretaceous Rocks of Inner Margin of Coastal Plain in Delaware and Adjacent States
Rocks of Cretaceous age deposited in continental and marginal environments, and now found along the inner edge of the northern Atlantic Coastal Plain, have historically been classified as the Potomac Group and the Potomac, Patuxent, Arundel, Patapsco, Raritan, and Magothy formations. Subdivisions of the Raritan and Magothy formations have also been recognized. Lithologic characteristics and spatial relationships of the units indicate that only the Potomac Formation and the Magothy Formation can be differentiated in northern Delaware. The complex nonmarine deposits originated on an aggrading coastal plain. Their projections into the deeper subsurface on- and offshore will be important in future studies. No changes in terminology are recommended, but careful use of stratigraphic nomenclature is urged in order to avoid confusion, especially in hydrologic applications.
This Bulletin presents the subsurface stratigraphy of the post-Potomac Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of central Delaware, between the Chesapeake and Delaware (C & D) Canal and Dover. Geophysical log correlations supported by biostratigraphic and lithologic data from boreholes in Delaware and nearby New Jersey provide the basis for the report. The stratigraphic framework presented here is important for identifying subsurface stratigraphic units penetrated by the numerous boreholes in this part of Delaware, particularly those rock units that serve as aquifers, because such knowledge allows for better prediction at ground-water movement and availability. Also, accurate stratigraphy is a prerequisite for interpreting the geologic history of the rocks and for the construction of maps that depict the structure and thickness of each unit.
B18 Clay and Clay-Size Mineral Composition of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Section, Test Well Je32-04, Central Delaware
This study complements Delaware Geological Survey Bulletin No. 17 and deals exclusively with clays and clay-size minerals. The cored section at the location of Je32-04 has been subdivided into 25 clay zones on the basis of major changes in trends and degree of crystallinity of clay minerals. The composition of clay minerals varies from zone to zone. These clay minerals have been identified: kaolinite, berthierine, chlorite, illite, smectite, chlorite/smectite, illite/smectite, glauconite/smectite, and glauconite pellets. Other minerals present in the section include: zeolites (clinoptilolite-heulandite), gypsum, and elemental sulfur.
A cored well 1,422 feet (433 meters) deep drilled two miles southeast of Dover is the basis for this integrated study of the lithology and paleontology of the Cretaceous-Tertiary section in central Delaware. The section is subdivided into lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, chronostratigraphic, and heavy mineral units. Data and results are presented on a common base in three plates.
This investigation was undertaken to locate deposits of rock, sand, gravel, fill and borrow in northern New Castle County which may be potential sources of material for highway construction, and to prepare maps and descriptions of the surficial earth materials relative to their geologic and engineering properties.
B5 Sedimentary Petrology of the Cretaceous Sediments of Northern Delaware in Relation to Paleogeographic Problems
The non-marine Cretaceous sediments of northern Delaware older than the Magothy formation cannot be divided accurately into formations or mappable geologic units because their lithologic characteristics are very similar. However, two heavy mineral zones can be distinguished in these deposits: a lower staurolite-kyanite-tourmaline-zircon zone, and an upper tourmaline-zircon-rutile zone with abundant alterites. They have been named the Patuxent zone and the Patapsco-Raritan zone respectively. The Magothy formation is characterized by abundant staurolite and also contains significant amounts of tourmaline. The marine Upper Cretaceous deposits have a greater variety of heavy minerals than the underlying non-marine sediments. They contain abundant epidote; chloritoid, first appearing at the base of the Merchantville formation, is persistently present. Garnet is found in the Merchantville and the Mount Laurel-Navesink formations. The heavy mineral composition of the Cretaceous sediments is shown in table IV.
Delaware has an abundant supply of ground water of a quality suitable for most purposes. About 30 million gallons of water a day was pumped from the ground in 1954. It is estimated that this is roughly 1/16 of the optimum yield. This water is derived from nine groups or series of water-bearing units and is obtained from wells which yield as much as 1,100 gallons per minute. Thousands of wells serve agriculture, industry, municipalities, and domestic users. Geographically, Delaware is situated along the Atlantic coast of the United States in two physiographic provinces: the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain. The Piedmont is a belt of rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It is separated from the Coastal Plain by the Fall Line, a narrow zone of rapids or falls along which rivers and creek descend rapidly from the mature valleys of the Piedmont to the sluggish tidal estuaries of the coastal area. The Coastal Plain is a flat or gently undulating plain of relatively low altitude, which borders the Atlantic Ocean and its estuarine embayments.
In the Coastal Plain of Delaware, the non-marine Cretaceous sands and clays are separated from the Tertiary formations by a series of marine formations of Upper Cretaceous age. The sedimentary and hydrologic characteristics of these formations deserve detailed study because some of them are water-bearing beds. whereas others act as confining beds. A clear understanding of their relative age. and the presence or absence of unconformities is needed for proper correlation with formations found in wells throughout the State. as well as in Maryland and New Jersey.
Fossil collectors have been attracted to Delaware since the late 1820s when the excavation of the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal first exposed marine fossils of Cretaceous age. Since then, many technical and nontechnical works have been written about the fossils. However, there has not been a single source for casual or student collectors to turn to for help in the identification of typical finds. This paper is written to fill that void as well as provide general information about fossils and specific information on geologic formations and collecting localities at the Canal. This report is not designed to be an encyclopedia on the fossils of the Canal but focuses on those fossils found most frequently. The majority of the fossils collected today are from the spoil areas in the vicinity of the Reedy Point Bridge. Thus, the chapter on classification concentrates on the fossils of the Mount Laurel Formation, the stratigraphic unit dredged in that area.
This guide contains illustrations of fossils from Delaware Geological Survey Bulletin No. 3 ("Marine Upper Cretaceous Formations of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal") and Report of Investigations No. 7 ("An Invertebrate Fauna from the Upper Cretaceous of Delaware"). The identifications have been revised to be as accurate as possible so that this guide will be useful to those fossil collectors interested in classifying their "finds."
This map shows the surficial geology of New Castle County, Delaware at a scale of 1:100,000. Maps at this scale are useful for viewing the general geologic framework on a county-wide basis, determining the geology of watersheds, and recognizing the relationship of geology to regional or county-wide environmental or land-use issues. This map, when combined with the subsurface geologic information, provides a basis for locating water supplies, mapping ground-water recharge areas, and protecting ground and surface water. Geologic maps are also used to identify geologic hazards, such as sinkholes and flood-prone areas, to identify sand and gravel resources, and for supporting state, county, and local land-use and planning decisions.
This is a map of the crystalline bedrock units in the Piedmont of Delaware and adjacent Pennsylvania. The southern boundary of the mapped area is the updip limit of the Potomac Formation (Woodruff and Thompson, 1972, 1975). Soil, regolith, and surficial deposits of Quaternary age are not shown.
RI11 An Evaluation of the Resistivity and Seismic Refraction Techniques in the Search for Pleistocene Channels in Delaware
Pleistocene channels along the margins of the Atlantic Coastal Plain are developed in crystalline and Triassic sediments (Bonini and Hickok, 1958), or into the Cretaceous and Tertiary coastal plain sediments (Widmer, 1965). Deposits in these channels consist of sand and gravel with amounts of silt and clay. For example, the Bear area channel is 50 to 70 feet deep and contains up to 30 feet of sand and gravel overlain by sandy clay. Because they are usually more permeable than the older deposits into which the channels are developed, Pleistocene deposits are important in ground water studies for several reasons: (1) where they are thick enough they may be used as aquifers, as in the case of the Bear channel, and (2) these beds can effectively increase the recharge into the underlying aquifers by absorbing precipitation and transmitting the water to them.