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Raritan Formation

Raritan Formation - Clay, silty, massive, dark-gray, shelly. Unit is generally restricted to the deep subsurface and only subcrops in the northern part of the central sheet. Petters (1976) proposed a new formation, the Bass River Formation, which included the Raritan as well as the lowermost part of the Magothy and the uppermost part of the Potomac Formation, unit 3. In this report, the name Bass River is not used. Thickness values were obtained from interpretations of geophysical logs from the few drillholes that penetrated this formation; consequently, these values are, at best, speculative. It is estimated that the Raritan is at most 100 m (328 ft) thick in the southernmost part of New Jersey. The formation contains both nonmarine and marine facies. The Freehold drillhole shows the best section containing both facies. In this drillhole the Raritan is approximately 60 m (197 ft) thick. The lower 12 m (39 ft) consists of interbedded, fine- to medium-grained, thin- to thick-bedded, light to dark-colored quartz sand and light- to dark-colored clay or clayey silt. Small to large pieces of lignitized wood are characteristic of and common to abundant in these beds. The middle 30 m (98 ft) consists of laminated to thinly bedded, dark-gray, micaceous clay and fine-grained, light-colored, micaceous quartz sand. Reddish-brown secondary cementation is common in the strata of this interval. Lignitized wood fragments are also locally abundant in these beds but on average the wood pieces are much smaller than those seen in the basal beds. The upper 18 m (59 ft) also is dominated by the laminated to thin-bedded sequences of micaceous clay and quartz sand but has small amounts of glauconite sand. A thin layer of large fossils (primarily Exogyra woolmani) is present in these upper beds. At the very top of this interval some of the beds are cemented by siderite. In general, the Raritan appears to be fluvial in the lower part, marginal marine in the middle, and marine at the top. North and west of the Freehold drillhole the Raritan is mostly interbedded nonmarine crossbedded sand and black to variegated clay. At Island Beach, southwest of Freehold, the Raritan is wholly marine and consists largely of dark-gray, shelly, micaceous clay at the base and fine-grained, dark-gray, shelly, micaceous clay at the top. It is assumed that the Raritan is late Cenomanian to possibly early Turonian in age as determined from northern New Jersey sections. In outcrop, the Raritan is early late Cenomanian in age on the basis of ammonites (Cobban and Kennedy, 1990). Pollen from these outcrops belongs to the Complexiopollis-Atlantopollis Assemblage Zone (zone IV, Christopher, 1979). Downdip, Petters (1976) reports the planktic foraminifer Marginotruncana helvetica, a middle Turonian marker, from beds assigned to pollen zone IV at Toms River, Ocean County.
StateNew Jersey
NameRaritan Formation
Geologic ageUpper Cretaceous, upper Cenomanian
Original map labelKr
CommentsSubsurface unit shown in cross section (NJ002) with different description that surficial units.
Primary rock typeclay or mud
Secondary rock typesilt
Other rock typessand
Lithologic constituents
Major
Unconsolidated > Coarse-detrital > Sand (Bed)quartz sand but has small amounts of glauconite sand
Unconsolidated > Fine-detrital > Clay (Bed)clay, silty, massive, dark-gray, shelly. Unit is generally restricted to the deep subsurface and only subcrops in the northern part of the central sheet;
Minor
Unconsolidated > Fine-detrital > Silt (Bed)clay, silty, massive, dark-gray, shelly. Unit is generally restricted to the deep subsurface and only subcrops in the northern part of the central sheet.
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.
Petters, S.W., 1976, Upper Cretaceous subsurface stratigraphy of Atlantic Coastal Plain of New Jersey: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 60, no. 1, p. 87-107.
Cobban, W.A., and Kennedy, W.J., 1990, Upper Cenomanian ammonites from the Woodbridge Clay Member of the Raritan Formation of New Jersey: Journal of Paleontology, v. 64, p. 845-846.
Christopher, R.A., 1979, Normapolles and triporate pollen assemblages from the Raritan and Magothy Formations (Upper Cretaceous) of New Jersey: Palynology, v. 3, p. 73-122.
Geographic coverageMiddlesex

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