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Non-energy resources, Connecticut and Rhode Island coastal waters

January 1, 1989

Cores collected from Long Island Sound, Connecticut, were used to establish control on the geologic framework of the area. Lithologic and stratigraphic analyses verified the presence of the following units: (1) Cretaceous coastal plain, (2) Pleistocene glacial till, (3) late Pleistocene glacial lake, (4) late Pleistocene glacial outwash, and (5) Holocene fluvial, estuarine and marine deposits. Cores collected in Block Island Sound, Rhode Island, were obtained from inferred, relict shoreline features and were analyzed for heavy mineral content. Concentrations ranged from 0.3 to 3.4%; no significant downcore changes were found. The results indicated that surficial sediments in areas of high-velocity tidal flow yield greater amounts of heavy minerals than do inferred placer deposits. During the second phase of the program of study, Connecticut and Rhode Island pooled resources to develop a study plan for the comprehensive quantification of all non-energy resources in the adjacent waters of the states. A literature and data survey was conducted to assess the occurrence, extent, and accessibility of these resources. Sand and gravel and heavy minerals were found in concentrations offering potential for resource exploitation. Constraints on exploitation include (1) water depth restrictions for the protection of shellfish beds and public beaches, (2) fishing activities, (3) military, commercial, and fishing vessel traffic, (4) seafloor cable routes and (5) dump sites. Deposits composed of Pleistocene glacial sediments and/or Holocene marine sediments in regions of little or no user conflict were identified as sites potentially suitable for resource exploitation. The study plan stated additional data needs (geophysical profiling and vibracore sampling) at these sites. Subsequent to these recommendations, high-resolution seismic profiles and sidescan sonographs were obtained from these sites. Seismic stratigraphic analyses confirm the presence of extensive deposits of potential economic value. ?? 1989.

Publication Year 1989
Title Non-energy resources, Connecticut and Rhode Island coastal waters
Authors N.F. Neff, R. S. Lewis
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Geology
Index ID 70016027
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse