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.
Emphasis is placed herein on the years of Dr. Groot's leadership of the Survey. The remarkable work of James C. Booth in the last century is acknowledged but has elsewhere been entered in history. Some continuing activities of the Survey after 1969 are noted together with comments of an experienced observer; this current period may someday receive the attention of a recorder having the enhanced perspective of time.
The following report of the geological survey of the state of Delaware, conducted in the years 1837 and 1838, embraces all the observations and examinations which were made during the continuance of the survey, including those contained in the first and second annual reports, already laid before the legislature.
Analyses of drillers' and geophysical logs, cuttings, and 29 core samples from well Nc13-3 near Greenwood, Sussex County, Delaware indicate that the 1500-foot section penetrated by the drill can be divided into seven rock-stratigraphic units: Matawan Formation, Monmouth Formation, unit A, Piney Point Formation, Chesapeake Group (undifferentiated), Staytonville unit, and the Columbia Formation. The rock units are identified on the basis of texture, mineralogy, color, and interpretation of electric and gamma-ray logs. The oldest rocks penetrated are Upper Cretaceous; Tertiary and Quaternary rocks were also encountered. Correlations of the units encountered in the Greenwood test well with subsurface formations in adjacent parts of the Coastal Plain are explored utilizing lithologies, ages, positions in the stratigraphic column, and geophysical characteristics as criteria. Major time boundaries (Cretaceous-Tertiary; Early-Late Paleocene; Paleocene-Eocene; and Eocene-Miocene) are established by a preliminary study of mainly planktonic foraminifera. The Miocene-Pleistocene boundary was determined on changes in lithology across the unconformable contact.
The quantitative lithofacies analysis of the Potomac Formation in a small area west of Delaware City revealed that the deposition of these sediments was continuous throughout the time of their formation. The uppermost part of the Potomac sequence appears to have been removed, probably by erosion, prior to the deposition of the younger Upper Cretaceous marine sediments. The sand bodies contained in Potomac deposits have a shoestring channel form and were most probably deposited by unidirectional currents. The direction of the flows, however, cannot be determined on the basis of the available subsurface data.
The core of much DGS work culminates in the release of data and findings in official DGS publications, including Open File Reports, Reports of Investigations, Geologic Maps, Hydrologic Maps, and Bulletins.