Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

George F. Oertel

Committee Member

Gerald H. Johnson

Committee Member

Ali A. Nowroozi

Committee Member

Donald J. P. Swift


The Pleistocene stratigraphic record beneath the Virginia inner shelf is largely unknown. On the adjacent lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia, the Pleistocene record consists of seven stacked transgressive sequences, while on the southern Delmarva Peninsula, a series of three transgressive to highstand sequences are developed. Reconstruction of the mid-Atlantic basin margin response to high-frequency Quaternary glacioeustasy is limited by this sparse record of late transgressive through early regressive deposition. Knowledge of high-frequency depositional sequence architecture, developed under conditions of low subsidence (to net uplift) and low sediment input, is also incomplete. The Atlantic inner shelf and coastal zone, adjacent to the modern Chesapeake Bay mouth, is an ideal site at which to examine the relationship between the onshore and offshore stratigraphic records as a means of resolving problematic lower Coastal Plain stratigraphy. It is also an ideal site for examining the variability in sequence architecture and seismic facies development that occurs when paleogeographic changes significantly affect regional inner shelf physiography.


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