Date of Award

Fall 1973

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences

Committee Director

Donald J. P. Swift

Committee Member

Stanley R. Riggs

Committee Member

Gary Copeland

Committee Member

John C. Ludwick

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35S42


The evolution of Platt Shoals, a complex ridge and trough system on the south side of the Albemarle Shelf Valley, was determined and the modern hydraulic regime was inferred. The methods used were surficial grain size, 11 vibracores, seismic profiling and bathymetric maps. Platt Shoals developed in a three step process. The first, step was the formation of a substrate of late Pleistocene regressive deposits from 15,000 to 30,000 yr B. P. The second step, occurring approximately 11,000 yr B. P., was the formation of estuary mouth shoals of the ancestral Albemarle River. Between 4,4.00 to 5,000 yr B. P., the estuary mouth was sealed and Platt Shoals was remolded by the modern shelf hydraulic regime which caused sand accretion on the ridge crests and erosion of the troughs. During the past one hundred years approximately 54,800 ft3 of sediment have been deposited on the ridges and 4.2,000 ft3 nave been eroded from the troughs. The modern hydraulic regime is inferred to consist of long quiescent periods and occasional storms which generate strong predominately south flowing currents that are channeled into the troughs and obliquely over the ridge crests.


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