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Merchantville Formation

Merchantville Formation - Sand, glauconite, locally has high quartz content, very clayey and silty, massive to thick-bedded, grayish-olive-green to dark-greenish-gray; weathers moderate brown or moderate yellow brown. Mica, feldspar, and pyrite are minor sand constituents. Very micaceous at base. Locally, has extensive iron incrustations in near-surface weathered beds. Fossil molds are mostly phosphatic. Fossils typically occur in siderite concretions. No calcareous fossils were found in outcrop. The Merchantville forms a continuous narrow to wide belt throughout the map area. The unit is about 6 m (20 ft) thick in the northern part of the central sheet, about 20 m (66 ft) thick in the Trenton area, and 12 to 15 m (39-49 ft) thick throughout the southern sheet. The formation is best exposed in the Trenton East quadrangle, mainly in the tributaries on the western side of Blacks Creek and south of Bordentown, Burlington County, where the entire thickness of the formation can be seen in gullies (Owens and Minard, 1964b). The basal contact with the underlying Magothy or Cheesequake Formations is sharp and disconformable. At most places, a reworked zone about 0.3 to 1 m (1-3 ft) thick is present at the base. This basal bed contains reworked lignitized wood, siderite concretions as much as 13 cm (5 in) in diameter, scattered pebbles and coarse-grained quartz sand and is burrowed. Most burrows project downward into the underlying formations. The Merchantville is the basal bed of a lower Campanian transgressive-regressive cycle that includes the overlying Woodbury and Englishtown Formations. Merchantville faunas were analyzed by Sohl (in Owens and others, 1977) who concluded that northern fauna represented deposition on a lower shoreface or in the transition to an inner shelf, whereas the southern fauna was a deeper water assemblage, probably inner shelf. Macrofossils occur as internal and external molds and include the ammonites Menabites (Delawarella) delawarensis and Scaphites (Scaphites) hippocrepis III. The Scaphites is of the type III variety of Cobban (1969) and is indicative of the lower, but not the lowest, Campanian. More recently, Kennedy and Cobban (1993), detailing the ammonite assemblage that includes Baculites haresi, Chesapeakella nodatum, Cryptotexanites paedomorphicus sp., Glyptoxoceras sp., Menabites (Delawarella) delawarensis, M. (Delawarella) vanuxemi, Menabites (Bererella) sp., Pachydiscus (Pachydiscus) sp., Placenticeras placenta, Pseudoscholenbachia cf. P. chispaensis, Scaphites (Scaphites) hippocrepis III, Submortoniceras punctatum, S. uddeni, and Texanites (Texanites) sp., concluded that the Merchantville is of late early Campanian age. Wolfe (1976) indicated that the Merchantville microflora was distinct from overlying and underlying units and designated it Zone CA2 of early Campanian age.
StateNew Jersey
NameMerchantville Formation
Geologic ageUpper Cretaceous, lower Campanian
Original map labelKmv
Primary rock typesand
Secondary rock typeclay or mud
Other rock typessilt
Lithologic constituents
Major
Unconsolidated > Coarse-detrital > Sand (Bed)Sand, glauconite, locally has high quartz content, very clayey and silty, massive to thick-bedded, grayish-olive-green to dark-greenish-gray; weathers moderate brown or moderate yellow brown. Mica, feldspar, and pyrite are minor sand constituents. Very micaceous at base. Locally, has extensive iron incrustations in near-surface weathered beds. Fossil molds are mostly phosphatic. Fossils typically occur in siderite concretions. No calcareous fossils were found in outcrop.
Minor
Unconsolidated > Fine-detrital > Silt (Bed)very clayey and silty
Unconsolidated > Fine-detrital > Clay (Bed)very clayey and silty
Map references
Dalton, R. F., Herman, G. C., Monteverde, D. H., Pristas, R. S., Sugarman, P. J., Volkert, R. A., 1999, New Jersey Department Of Environmental Protection, Bedrock Geology and Topographic Base Maps of New Jersey: New Jersey Geological Survey CD Series CD 00-1; ARC/INFO (v. 7.1) export file: geology.e00, scale 1:100,000, unit description files: cslegend.pdf and nlegend.pdf, metadata: metast.pdf.
Unit references
Dalton, R. F., Herman, G. C., Monteverde, D. H., Pristas, R. S., Sugarman, P. J., Volkert, R. A., 1999, New Jersey Department Of Environmental Protection, Bedrock Geology and Topographic Base Maps of New Jersey: New Jersey Geological Survey CD Series CD 00-1; ARC/INFO (v. 7.1) export file: geology.e00, scale 1:100,000, unit description files: cslegend.pdf and nlegend.pdf, metadata: metast.pdf.
Owens, James P., Sugarman, Peter J., Sohl, Norman F., Parker, Ronald A., Houghton, Hugh F., Volkert, Richard A., Drake, Avery A., Jr., and Orndorff, Randall C., 1998, Bedrock Geologic Map of Central and Southern New Jersey: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I-2540-B, scale 1 to 100,000, 8 cross sections, 4 sheets, each size 58x41.
Owens, J.P., and Minard, J.P., 1964b, Pre-Quaternary geology of the Trenton East quadrangle, New Jersey-Pennsylvania: U.S.Geological Survey Geologic Quadrangle Map GQ-341, scale 1:24,000.
Owens, J.P., Sohl, N.F., and Minard, J.P., 1977, A field guide to Cretaceous and lower Tertiary beds of the Raritan and Salisbury embayments, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland: Washington, D.C., American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, 113 p.
Cobban, W.A., 1969, The Late Cretaceous ammonites Scaphites leei Reeside and Scaphites hippocrepis (DeKay) in the western interior of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 619, 29 p., 5 pls.
Kennedy, W.J., and Cobban, W.A., 1993, Lower Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) ammonites from Merchantville Formation of New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware: Journal of Paleontology, v. 67, no.5, p. 828-849.
Wolfe, J.A., 1976, Stratigraphic distribution of some pollen types from the Campanian and lower Maestrichtian rocks (Upper Cretaceous) of the Middle Atlantic States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 977, 18 p.
Geographic coverageBurlington - Camden - Gloucester - Mercer - Middlesex - Monmouth - Salem

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