Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Dennis A. Darby

Committee Member

Randall Spencer

Committee Member

Richard Whittecar


In southeastern Virginia one to two discontinuous boulder layers occur at the base of the Pleistocene Norfolk Formation. The sediments, heavy minerals and microfossils within the boulder layers in addition to boulder lithologies, dimensions and orientations were studied to determine the origin of these layers. These data indicate the boulder layers were separated into two similar yet distinct layers.

The ancestral James River with sea-level 100 meters lower than today probably had the capacity to entrain 70-80 percent of the clasts in the boulder layers, but probably not the capacity to entrain the larger cobbles and boulders in the boulder layers. Winter river-ice rafting might provide a possible means of transporting the larger and angular clasts from the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Provinces to the boulder layers in southeastern Virginia. Reproduced


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