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Hornerstown Formation

Hornerstown Formation - Sand, glauconite, fine- to medium-grained, locally clayey, massive, dark-gray to dusky-green; weathers dusky yellow or red brown, extensively bioturbated, locally has a small amount of quartz at base. Glauconite grains are typically dark green and have botryoidal shapes. The Hornerstown weathers readily to iron oxide because of its high glauconite content. The Hornerstown in most areas is nearly pure glauconite greensand. The Hornerstown crops out in a narrow belt throughout most of the western outcrop area. In the northern part of the central sheet, it is extensively dissected and occurs as several outliers. Throughout its outcrop belt in the central sheet, the Hornerstown unconformably overlies several formations: the Tinton Formation in the extreme northern area; the Red Bank Formation in the northwestern and west-central areas; and the Navesink Formation in the west-central and southern areas. In the southern sheet, it unconformably overlies the Mount Laurel Formation. The unconformable basal contact locally contains a bed of reworked phosphatic vertebrate and invertebrate fossils. For the most part, however, the basal contact is characterized by an intensely bioturbated zone in which many burrows filled with bright green glauconite sand from the Hornerstown Formation project down into the dark-gray matrix of the underlying Navesink Formation. In a few exposures, a thin layer of medium- to coarse-grained quartz sand separates the Hornerstown from the underlying unit. The Hornerstown is 1.5 to 7 m (5-23 ft) thick. A Cretaceous age was assigned to this unit by Koch and Olsson (1977) based, in part, on a vertebrate fauna found at Sewell, Gloucester County. However, early Paleocene calcareous nannofossil Zones NP 2-4 were found in a core at Allaire State Park, Monmouth County. This is the only locality in New Jersey where Zone NP 2 was observed; otherwise, the Hornerstown is confined to Zones NP 3 and NP 4. Lowermost Paleocene Zone NP 1 was not identified, and it is thought that the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in New Jersey may be unconformable. A complete Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary section was recovered at the Bass River borehole (ODP Leg 174AX). It contained the uppermost Maastrichtian calcareous nannofossil Micula prinsii Zone below a spherule layer and the basal Danian planktonic foraminiferal Guembeletria cretacea P0 Zone just above the layer (Olsson and others, 1997).
StateNew Jersey
NameHornerstown Formation
Geologic agelower Paleocene, Danian
Original map labelTht
Primary rock typesand
Secondary rock typeclay or mud
Other rock types
Lithologic constituents
Major
Unconsolidated > Coarse-detrital > Sand (Bed)Sand, glauconite, fine- to medium-grained, locally clayey, massive, dark-gray to dusky-green; weathers dusky yellow or red brown, extensively bioturbated, locally has a small amount of quartz at base. Glauconite grains are typically dark green and have botryoidal shapes. The Hornerstown weathers readily to iron oxide because of its high glauconite content. The Hornerstown in most areas is nearly pure glauconite greensand.
Minor
Unconsolidated > Fine-detrital > Clay (Bed)locally clayey
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.
Koch, R.C., and Olsson, R.K., 1977, Dinoflagellate and planktonic foraminiferal bio-stratigraphy of the uppermost Cretaceous of New Jersey: Journal of Paleontology, v. 51, no. 3, p. 480-491.
Olsson, R.K., Miller, K.G., Browning, J.V., Habib, Daniel., and Sugarman, P.J., 1977, Ejecta layer at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, Bass River, New Jersey (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 174AX): Geology, v. 25, no. 8, p. 759-762.

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