Geologic units in New Castle county, Delaware

Potomac Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 23 % of this area

Variegated silts and clays with beds of quartz sand.

Chesapeake Group (Tertiary) at surface, covers 16 % of this area

Bluish gray silt with quartz sand and some shell beds.

Wissahickon Schist (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 12 % of this area

Dense micaceous schist, gneiss and migmatite.

Rancocas Formation (Tertiary) at surface, covers 12 % of this area

Grayish-green and green, silty, glauconitic sand.

Mt. Laurel-Navesink Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 7 % of this area

Dark greenish brown and dark gray, highly glauconitic sandy silt and silty sand.

Banded Gneiss (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 6 % of this area

Banded gneiss

Merchantville Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 5 % of this area

Dark gray to bluish-gray slightly glauconitic, micaceous silty, very fine sand.

Redbank Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Reddish-brown, slightly micaceous and glauconitic, fine to medium sand.

Unit C (Tertiary) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Grayish-green, clayey glauconitic silt and sand.

Amphibolite (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 4 % of this area


Wenonah Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Gray and rust-brown fine to medium, micaceous, sparingly glauconitic quartz sand.

Arden Granite (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 1 % of this area


Gabbro (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 0.8 % of this area


Magothy Formation (Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

White and buff quartz sand with beds of gray and black clayey silt.

Unit B (Cretaceous-Tertiary) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

Greenish-gray sandy and clayey glauconitic silt.

Port Deposit Granodiorite (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area


Bryn Mawr Formation (Age uncertain) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

Red and brown quartz sand with silt, clay and fine gravel.

Cockeysville Marble (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 0.4 % of this area

Dense, white crystalline limestone and dolomite.

Merchantville Formation (Upper Cretaceous, lower Campanian) at surface, covers 0.4 % of this area

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.

Pegmatite (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 0.4 % of this area


Serpentine (Paleozoic) at surface, covers 0.2 % of this area


Glenarm Wissahickon"" formation (Probably lower Paleozoic) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Lithologically similar to oligoclase-mica schist of the Wissahickon Formation (PZw), but also includes lenticular amphibolite bodies having ocean-floor basalt chemistry.

Potomac Formation, unit 3 (Upper Cretaceous, lower Cenomanian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Sand, fine- to coarse-grained, locally gravelly, crossbedded, light-colored, interbedded with white or variegated red and yellow, massive clay, and rarely dark-gray, woody clay. The Potomac Formation crops out only in the Delaware River valley where the river and its tributaries have eroded away the overlying formations. The Potomac has been mapped in a broad belt parallel to the inner edge of the Coastal Plain. Although mapped in a broad belt, the Potomac is very poorly exposed because of the widespread cover of surficial sediments. The best exposures occur where surficial material is mined away in the Camden area. Unit is about 45 m (148 ft) thick. Contact with the overlying Magothy Formation is difficult to pick where the basal Magothy also contains variegated clays. Most of the basal Magothy has more dark-colored clay, and the contact was drawn by using this criterion. The basal contact of the Potomac with the underlying crystalline rock is not exposed in New Jersey. Biostratigraphically, the Potomac has been separated into pollen zones I, II, and III (Doyle, 1969; Doyle and Robbins, 1977). Samples from the Potomac Formation in the Camden area and along the Delaware River nearby contain pollen assemblages of early Cenomanian age (Zone III) (Les Sirkin, written commun., 1988).

Mafic gneiss (Probably lower Paleozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Dark, medium grained; includes rocks of probable sedimentary origin; may be equivalent to pCAmgp in places.

Mt. Laurel Formation (Upper Cretaceous, upper Campanian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Sand, quartz, massive to crudely bedded, typically coarsens upward, interbedded with thin clay beds. Glauconite and feldspar are minor sand constituents. Muscovite and biotite are abundant near the base. Lower part of formation is a fine- to medium-grained, clayey, dark-gray, glauconitic (maximum 25 percent) quartz sand. Typically weathers to white or light yellow and locally stained orange brown by iron oxides. Small pebbles scattered throughout, especially in the west-central area. Locally, has small, rounded siderite concretions in the interbedded clay-sand sequence. Granules and gravel are abundant in the upper 1.5 m (5 ft). Upper beds are light gray and weather light brown to reddish brown. The Mount Laurel is 10 m (33 ft) thick from the Roosevelt quadrangle to the Runnemede quadrangle in the central sheet. Thickness varies in the northern part of the map area due, in part, to extensive interfingering of this formation with the underlying Wenonah Formation. Weller (1907) and Kmmel (1940) recognized only about 1.5 m (5 ft) of the Mount Laurel in the north. In this report those beds are assigned to the overlying Navesink Formation. The interbedded sequence, the major facies in the north, ranges to about 4.5 m (15 ft) thick. These interbeds have well-developed large burrows (Martino and Curran, 1990), mainly Ophiomorpha nodosa, and less commonly Rosselia socialis. The Mount Laurel is gradational into the underlying Wenonah Formation. A transition zone of 1.5 m (5 ft) is marked by an increase in clay, silt, and mica into the Wenonah, especially in the west-central area of the central sheet. The oyster Agerostrea falcata occurs in the lower part of the formation. Exogyra cancellata and Belemnitella americana are abundant in upper beds in the west-central area of the central sheet (New Egypt quadrangle). The Mount Laurel Formation is of late Campanian age based on the assignment of Zone CC 22b to the formation by Sugarman and others (1995) and the occurrence of Exogyra cancellata near Mullica Hill, Gloucester County.

Anorthosite (Probably lower Paleozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Medium to coarse grained, light to dark bluish gray, predominantly plagioclase; local alteration minerals.

Englishtown Formation (Upper Cretaceous, lower Campanian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Sand, quartz, fine- to coarsegrained, gravelly, massive, bioturbated, medium- to dark-gray; weathers light brown, yellow, or reddish brown, locally interbedded with thin to thick beds of dark clay. Abundant carbonaceous matter, with large lignitized logs occur locally, especially in clay strata. Feldspar, glauconite, and muscovite are minor sand constituents. Sand is extensively trough crossbedded particularly west of Mount Holly, Burlington County. In a few places in the western outcrop belt, trace fossils are abundant, typically the burrow Ophiomorpha nodosa. Unit is pyritic, especially in the carbonaceous-rich beds where pyrite is finely disseminated grains or pyritic masses as much as 0.6 m (2 ft) in diameter. Lowest part of unit is a massive sand that contains small to large, soft, light-gray siderite concretions. The Englishtown underlies a broad belt throughout the map area and ranges from about 45 m (148 ft) thick in the northern part of the central sheet to 30 m (98 ft) thick in the western part of the central sheet to 15 m (49 ft) in the southern sheet. Best exposures occur along Crosswicks Creek in the Allentown quadrangle and along Oldmans Creek. The basal contact with the underlying Woodbury Formation or Merchantville Formation is transitional over several meters. The age of the Englishtown in outcrop could not be determined directly but was inferred from stratigraphic position and pollen content. Wolfe (1976) designated the microflora of the unit as Zone CA4 and assigned it to the lower Campanian.

Trenton Gravel (Quaternary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Gray or pale-reddish-brown, very gravelly sand interstratified with crossbedded sand and clay-silt beds; includes areas of Holocene alluvium and swamp deposits.

Hornerstown Formation (lower Paleocene, Danian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

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).

Vincentown Formation (upper Paleocene, Selandian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Sand, quartz, medium-grained, well- to poorly sorted, dusky-yellow to pale-gray; weathers orange brown or red brown, typically very glauconitic and clayey near base; glauconite decreases up section. Feldspar and mica are minor sand constituents. Unit best exposed in the Pemberton, New Egypt, and Mount Holly quadrangles of the central sheet where the overlying formations have been stripped away. The Vincentown Formation is as much as 30 m (98 ft) thick and averages 3 to 15 m (10-49 ft) in its subcrop belt. Where unweathered the unit is generally a shelly sand; where weathered the unit is largely a massive quartz sand. The unweathered sand of the Vincentown is exposed intermittently along the Manasquan River near Farmingdale, Monmouth County. The calcareous nature of the unweathered Vincentown was observed in several coreholes in the vicinity of Farmingdale. The contact with the underlying Hornerstown Formation is disconformable; locally shell beds (bioherms) up to 1.5 m (5 ft) thick are found along the contact. Shells in the bioherms are typical of a restricted environment and contain the brachiopod Oleneothyris harlani (Morton) in the lower beds and the oyster Pycnodonte dissimilaris in the upper beds. The basal contact and the Oleneothyris bioherms are exposed along Crosswicks and Lahaway Creeks and their tributaries. Where bioherms are absent, the basal contact is difficult to place within a sequence of glauconite beds. In general, glauconite beds of the Vincentown are darker gray than glauconite beds of the Hornerstown, and the Vincentown has more quartz sand. Upper beds of the Vincentown are as much as 12 m (39 ft) thick and are mostly silty, darkgray to green-gray, massive, glauconite sand that contains a small percentage of quartz. Calcarenite or coquina, characterized by an abundance of bryozoans, occurs locally along the western belt. These fossiliferous beds, 6 to 7.5 m (20-25 ft) thick, are best exposed along Shingle Run in the New Egypt quadrangle area and in streams that cross the Vincentown outcrop belt in the Pemberton quadrangle. Calcareous nannofossils, present in some Vincentown outcrops, are from Zones NP 5 (the Oleneothyris beds) and NP 9 (late Paleocene). Vincentown sediments are much more fossiliferous in the subsurface and contain Zones NP 5 through NP 9, inclusive. Therefore, the Vincentown corresponds in age with the Aquia Formation of Virginia and Maryland. Numerous studies of the foraminifera of the Vincentown from calcareous beds in the western outcrop belt indicate that the Vincentown includes the planktic foraminifera Zones P3b through P6a (Olsson and others, 1988). A potassium-argon age of 56.4ñ18 Ma was determined for basal beds near New Egypt, Ocean County (Owens and Sohl, 1973).

Marshalltown Formation (Upper Cretaceous, upper and middle Campanian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Sand, quartz and glauconite, fine- to medium-grained, silty and clayey, massive, dark-gray; weathers light brown or pale red, extensively bioturbated. Very glauconitic in basal few meters; glauconite concentration decreases upward so that in upper part of unit, quartz and glauconite are nearly equal. Feldspar, mica, pyrite, and phosphatic fragments are minor sand constituents. Locally, very micaceous (mostly green chlorite) with sparse carbonized wood fragments. Fine-grained pyrite abundant throughout formation. Local thin, pebbly zones with large fossil impressions occur in the middle of the formation. In the upper part of the formation, quartz increases to about 40 percent. Unit crops out in a narrow belt throughout the map area and forms isolated outliers in the central sheet. Best exposures are along Crosswicks Creek in the Allentown quadrangle. In the southern sheet, the Marshalltown underlies a narrow belt in the uplands and broadens to the southwest. Many Marshalltown exposures occur along Oldmans Creek and its tributaries near Auburn, Gloucester County. The contact with the underlying Englishtown Formation is sharp and unconformable. The basal few centimeters of the Marshalltown contain siderite concentrations, clay balls, and wood fragments reworked from the underlying Englishtown. Many burrows, some filled with glauconite, project downward into the Englishtown for about one meter (3 ft) giving a spotted appearance to the upper part of the Englishtown (Owens and others, 1970). The Marshalltown is the basal transgressive unit of a sedimentation cycle that includes the regressive deposits of the overlying Wenonah and Mount Laurel Formations resembling the overlying Red Bank Formation to Navesink Formation cycle in its asymmetry. Within the map area, only a few long-ranging megafossils occur in the Moorestown quadrangle (Richards, 1967). To the south, in the type area, Weller (1907) reported diverse molluskan assemblages indicating a Campanian age. More importantly, Olsson (1964) reported the late Campanian foraminifera Globotruncana calcarata Cushman from the upper part of the formation. No G. calcarata were found during our investigations. Wolfe (1976) assigned the pollen assemblage of the Marshalltown to the CA5A Zone considered to be Campanian. The Marshalltown has most recently been assigned to Zone CC 20-21 (Sugarman and others, 1995) of middle and late Campanian age (Perch-Nielsen, 1985).

Mafic gneiss (Probably lower Paleozoic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Dark, medium grained; includes rocks of probable sedimentary origin; may be equivalent to pCAmgh in places.

Bryn Mawr Formation (Tertiary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

High-level terrace deposits; reddish-brown gravelly sand and some silt. Age uncertain.

Magothy Formation (Upper Cretaceous, middle and lower Santonian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Sand, quartz, fine- to coarse-grained, locally gravelly (especially at the base), white; weathers yellow brown or orange brown, interbedded with thin-bedded clay or dark-gray clay-silt mainly at the top of the formation. Muscovite and feldspar are minor sand constituents. Large wood fragments occur in many clay layers. Clay weathers to gray brown or white. Formation characterized by local vertical and lateral facies changes. The Magothy is best exposed and thickest (about 80 m (262 ft)) in the Raritan Bay area. The outcrop belt is widest in the north and narrows to the southwest. The formation is about 25 m (82 ft) thick or less in the southern sheet. The formation is poorly exposed because of its sandy nature and its widespread cover by younger sediments. The old geologic map of New Jersey (Lewis and Kmmel, 1910-1912, revised 1950) showed the Magothy to consist of only one lithology (Cliffwood beds at Cliffwood Beach, Monmouth County). Subsequent pollen studies of the Magothy and the underlying Raritan Formation showed most of the Raritan to be the same age as the Magothy. Wolfe and Pakiser (1971) redefined and considerably expanded the Magothy. Kmmel and Knapp (1904) had already recognized that the Magothy, as used here, contained a large number of lithologies. At the time of their study, the Magothy was extensively mined for clay and sand and was well exposed. Their subdivisions had economic designations (for example, Amboy stoneware clay). Barksdale and others (1943) later gave geographic names to these subdivisions, discussed individually below. The lower contact of the Magothy in the Delaware River valley is difficult to place because the lower part of the Magothy is lithically similar to the underlying Potomac Formation. The contact is placed at the base of the lowest dark-gray clay in the Magothy. The best faunas from the Magothy were obtained from siderite concretions and slabs in and near Cliffwood Beach representing only the top of the formation. These faunas were discussed in detail by Weller (1904, 1907) and supplemented by Sohl (in Owens and others, 1977). The presence of Ostrea cretacea in the Cliffwood Beach fauna suggests that the upper part of the Magothy is late Santonian in age. Wolfe and Pakiser (1971) and Christopher (1979, 1982) discussed the microfloral assemblage in the Magothy. Christopher subdivided the Magothy into three zones: Complexipollis exigua-Santalacites minor (oldest), Pseudoplicapollis longiannulata-Plicapollis incisa (middle), and Pseudoplicapollis cuneata-Semioculopollis verrucosa (youngest). The oldest zone, originally considered to be as old as Turonian, was subsequently considered to be post-Coniacian Christopher, 1982). The middle and upper zones are also probably Santonian. Christopher (1979) followed the nomenclature for the subdivisions elaborated upon earlier. The Cliffwood and Morgan beds, and, presumably the upper thin-bedded sequence, would include the youngest pollen zone; the Amboy Stoneware Clay Member and perhaps the uppermost part of the Old Bridge Sand Member, the middle pollen zone; and the lower part of the Old Bridge Sand Member and South Amboy Fire Clay Member, the oldest pollen zone. The Magothy is considered herein to be of Santonian age. Cliffwood beds - Typically very sandy, horizontally bedded to crossbedded, mainly small-scale trough crossbeds. Thin layers of dark, fine, carbonaceous matter are interbedded with sand. Carbonaceous units are conspicuously micaceous; the sand is less so. Sand is typically fine to medium grained and locally burrowed. Burrows include the small-diameter Ophiomorpha nodosa and some that are not clay lined. Slabs of dark-reddish-brown siderite were common at the base of the bluff at Cliffwood Beach before the outcrop was covered. Some of these slabs had many fossil molds, typically a large number of pelecypods. Lower in the section, between high and low tide level, there is a pale-gray clay-silt about 1.5 m (5 ft) thick with many small reddish-brown siderite concretions. These concretions have many fossils that were described in detail by Weller (1904). The Cliffwood beds are about 7.5 m (25 ft) thick in outcrop. Equivalents of the Cliffwood beds are exposed near the Delaware River between Trenton and Florence, Burlington County. These beds are mainly sand, as are those at Cliffwood Beach, but they tend to have more crossbedding than the typical Cliffwood strata and no burrows or marine fossils. In addition, beds of quartz gravel are present in the Cliffwood near Riverside, Burlington County. Morgan beds - Occur only in the northern part of the central sheet. They consist of interbedded, thin, dark-colored clay and fine-grained, light-colored, micaceous sand. Clay is locally more abundant in the Morgan than in the Cliffwood beds. Sand ranges from massive to locally crossbedded and locally has fine organic matter. This unit is exposed only in the South Amboy quadrangle where it is as much as 12 m (39 ft) thick. It grades downward into underlying clay. Amboy Stoneware Clay Member - Crops out only in the South Amboy quadrangle in the central sheet and is mainly dark-gray, white-weathering, interbedded clay and silt to fine-grained quartz sand. Clay has abundant, fine, carbonaceous matter and fine mica flakes. Small cylindrical burrows are abundant in this unit. Locally, the clay is interbedded with sand and contains large pieces of lignitized, bored (Teredolites) logs. Large slabs of pyrite-cemented sand are associated with the woody beds. Amber occurs in some of the wood. Unit is approximately 7.5 m (25 ft) thick, but pinches out along strike. The Amboy Stoneware is disconformable on the underlying sand. Old Bridge Sand Member - Predominantly a light-colored sand, extensively crossbedded and locally interbedded with dark-gray laminae; clay is highly carbonaceous, woody, in discontinuous beds, especially near the base. The scale of crossbedding varies from small to large. Locally, small burrows are present. Unit is as much as 12 m (39 ft) thick and rests disconformably on the underlying unit. South Amboy Fire Clay Member - Basal member of the Magothy Formation. Unit resembles the Amboy Stoneware Clay Member, particularly in its lensing character. Unit is best exposed in the central sheet in the South Amboy quadrangle and in the Delaware River valley at the base of the bluffs at Florence. The South Amboy is a dark, massive to finely laminated clay, locally oxidized to white or red. Unit fills large channels and has local concentrations of large, pyrite-encrusted, lignitized logs. Some of the clay is slumped, suggesting post-depositional undercutting during channel migration. The clay is interbedded with fine- to medium-grained, crossbedded sand. The basal contact with the underlying Raritan is well exposed in the Sayre and Fisher Pit in Sayreville, Middlesex County, where the contact is marked by a deeply weathered gravel zone.

Pensauken and Bridgeton Formations, undifferentiated (Tertiary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Dark-reddish-brown, cross-stratified, feldspathic quartz sand and some thin beds of fine gravel and rare layers of clay or silt.