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Latest Quaternary stratigraphic framework of the Mississippi River delta region

September 2, 2002

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 This study integrates published and unpublished lithostratigraphic data with high-resolution seismic profiles from the continental shelf to aid in mapping the regional distribution of major substratum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.

Publication Year 2002
Title Latest Quaternary stratigraphic framework of the Mississippi River delta region
Authors Mark Kulp, Paul Howell, Sandra Adiau, Shea Penland, Jack Kindinger, S. Jeffress Williams
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Index ID 70123172
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program