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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Vol. 52 (2002), Pages 573-582

Latest Quaternary Stratigraphic Framework of the Mississippi River Delta Region

Kulp, Mark, Howell, Paul, Adiau, Sandra, Penland, Shea, Kindinger, Jack, Williams, S. Jeffress


Previous researchers separated the uppermost Quaternary stratigraphy of the Mississippi River delta region into two major lithofacies. The stratigraphically lower of these, "substratum," primarily consists of coarse-grained sediment deposited within lowstand-incised stream valleys. Relatively finer-grained "topstratum" overlies substratum; above interfluves, topstratum directly overlies weathered late Pleistocene sediments. However, the onshore to offshore distribution and architecture of these lithofacies was not well constrained. This study integrates published and unpublished lithostratigraphic data with high-resolution seismic profiles from the continental shelf to aid in mapping the regional distribution of major substratum deposits and thickness of topstratum sediments. A transgressive sand sheet commonly marks the base of the topstratum deposits, providing a stratigraphic marker to aid in regional lithostratigraphic correlations. Radiocarbondated deposits and boreholes tied to oxygen isotope chronologies provide chronostratigraphic control. Excellent correlation between these multiple datasets has been found to exist, enabling construction of regional isopachous and structural elevation maps and cross sections detailing elements of the Late Quaternary stratigraphy.

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