Date of Award

Fall 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences


Geological Sciences

Committee Director

G. Richard Whittecar

Committee Member

Dennis A. Darby

Committee Member

Stephen J. Culver

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4O94


Eight lithological units, documented from the analyses of 26 boreholes, comprise five laterally extensive horizons in the subsurface of Cape Henry, Virginia. Interpretations of the environments of deposition for those units are based upon textural and compositional features, fossils, thickness and distribution of strata, and previous reports about late Tertiary and Quaternary deposits in nearby areas. The incised, Pliocene Chowan River Formation (Unit H) underlies Pleistocene Units F and G which are concentrated in a buried river valley beneath Cape Henry. Estuarine Units D and E resulted from a marine transgression of the study area during the early Holocene. The shorezone sands and gravels of Units Band C mark the top of an upward-coarsening, progradational sequence which formed Cape Henry. Surficial sediments (Unit A) consist of well sorted Holocene dune sands and other beach ridge plain deposits.

Cluster analyses of textural data from selected boreholes demonstrates the need to use these techniques in conjunction with all sediment data available. Cluster analyses were marginally helpful in highlighting the presence of subtle textural variations and verifying the overall correlative nature of the sediments in the subsurface of Cape Henry.


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