Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Randall R. Spencer

Committee Member

Stephen J. Culver

Committee Member

Richard Z. Poore

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4F67


Lithologic analysis of twenty-one core samples from a well near Gloucester, Virginia, when compared to published descriptions of formations occurring in the study area, indicates the presence of five formations. From oldest to youngest these units are the Aquia (late Paleocene), Nanjemoy (early Eocene), Chickahominy (late Eocene), Old Church (late Oligocene and early Miocene), and Eastover (late Miocene) formations. Comparison of the stratigraphic ranges of key planktic and benthic foraminifera from each of the core samples shows chronological agreement with previously published ages for each of these formations.

Paleoenvironmental analysis of each of the formations in the well is based on a variety of methods including species diversity (Shannon-Wiener information function, equitability ratios, Fisher's alpha indices), planktic-benthic ratios, and prior paleoenvironmental and paleodepth studies by several researchers. The depositional environment of the formations range from normal nearshore marine for the Aquia and Nanjemoy formations to somewhat deeper neritic for the Chickahominy Formation. The Old Church Formation is found to have been deposited in nearshore temperate waters of normal salinity while the Eastover Formation shows evidence of a regressive trend with conditions ranging from normal shelf seas to hypersaline lagoon.

Systematic descriptions of 199 species of benthic and planktic foraminifera are included.


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