Cohansey Formation (Middle Miocene, Serravallian)
Cohansey Formation - Sand, white to yellow with local gravel and clay. Locally stained red or orange brown by iron oxides and (or) cemented into large blocks of ironstone. Unweathered clay is typically dark gray, but commonly weathers white where interbedded with thin beds of ironstone. Unit is a complex of interfingering marine and nonmarine facies. Sand is typically medium grained and moderately sorted although it ranges from fine to very coarse grained and from poorly to well sorted. Sand consists of quartz and siliceous rock fragments. Some beds are locally micaceous, and in the Lakehurst area, Ocean County, some beds have high concentrations of "black" sand (pseudorutile) that was once extensively mined. In general, the sand is crossbedded, although the style of crossbedding varies significantly with the paleoenvironment. Trough crossbedding predominates, especially in the nonmarine channel fill deposits, and the scale of the crossbeds varies from small to large. In some areas, planar bedding is well developed in sections that have abundant marine burrows (mostly the clay-lined trace fossil Ophiomorpha nodosa). Such marine-influenced beds (largely foreshore deposits) occur on the central sheet west of Asbury Park, near Adelphia, Monmouth County, north of the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, Ocean County, and at Juliustown, Burlington County (Owens and Sohl, 1969), and on the southern sheet as far north as Salem, Salem County. Gravel beds occur locally, especially in updip areas such as near New Egypt, Ocean County, in the Atlantic Highlands and in the highlands west of Barnegat, Ocean County, in the southern part of the central sheet and in mixed marine and nonmarine facies in the northeastern part of the southern sheet where gravel occurs in well-defined channels. Most of the gravel is 1.3 to 2.5 cm (0.5-1.0 in) in diameter, but pieces as long as 10 cm (4 in) are present. The gravel is composed of quartz with small amounts of black chert and quartzite. Clay commonly occurs as discrete, thin, discontinuous beds, is dark gray where unweathered, white or red where weathered. Lesser, thin laminated clay strata also are present. Locally, as near Lakehurst, thick, dark-gray, very lignitic clay was uncovered during the mining of ilmenite and is informally called the Legler lignite (Rachele, 1976). An extensive, well-preserved leaf flora was collected from a thick clay lens in a pit near Millville, Cumberland County. The leaf flora was dominated by Alangium sp., a tree no longer growing in eastern North America (J.A. Wolfe, written commun., 1992). Maximum thickness in the map area is about 60 m (197 ft); however, thickness is difficult to determine because of the irregular basal contact and extensive post-depositional erosion. There is as much as 18 m (59 ft) of relief along the basal contact. The basal contact is sharp, undulatory, and directly overlain by a thin gravel bed. The Cohansey Formation unconformably overlies the Kirkwood Formation and is found in channels cut down into the Kirkwood. Where the Kirkwood consists of sandy, light-colored sediments, the basal contact of the Cohansey is drawn below crossbedded sediments. Where the Kirkwood consists of dark-colored silty beds, the basal contact is drawn between light-colored Cohansey sediments and the underlying dark-colored sediments. The Cohansey was markedly thinned because of erosion prior to deposition of overlying units in the western and southern parts of the southern sheet (Owens and Minard, 1975). The unit has been extensively eroded and stripped from large areas of the New Jersey Coastal Plain, particularly in the central sheet where outliers are common. In spite of its widespread nature, the Cohansey is poorly exposed because of its loose sandy composition, which causes it to erode easily (Newell and others, in press). Because of this same sandy nature, the Cohansey has been widely mined for sand, and manmade exposures are common in many areas. The age of the Cohansey is controversial because no calcareous microfauna or macrofauna have been found in this formation. The best indication of age comes from pollen and spores obtained from dark carbonaceous clay. Rachele (1976) analyzed the microflora from the Legler site and noted that the Cohansey had a rich and varied assemblage including several genera labeled "exotics" which no longer occur in the northeastern United States: Engelhardia, Pterocarya, Podocarpus, and Cyathea. Greller and Rachele (1984) estimated a middle Miocene age. Ager's (in Owens and others, 1988) analysis of the Cohansey from a corehole at Mays Landing also suggests a middle Miocene (Serravallian) age.
Feltville Formation (Lower Jurassic)
Feltville Formation - Mostly fine-grained, feldspathic sandstone, coarse siltstone, and silty mudstone, brownish-red to light-grayish-red. Fine-grained sandstone is moderately well sorted, cross laminated, and contains 15 percent or more feldspar; interbedded with mudstone, indistinctly laminated, bioturbated, and calcareous in places. A thin bed (0-2 m (0-7 ft) thick) of black, microlaminated carbonaceous limestone and gray calcareous mudstone occurs near the base and contains fish and plant fossils, and thermally mature hydrocarbons. Thickness of unit in the Sand Brook syncline is about 155 m (509 ft).
Feltville Formation (Lower Jurassic)
Feltville Formation (Olsen, 1980) - Interbedded brownish-red to light-grayish-red, fine- to coarse-grained sandstone, gray and black, coarse siltstone in upward-fining cycles, and silty mudstone. Fine-grained sandstone and siltstone are moderately well sorted, commonly cross-laminated, and have 15 percent or more feldspar; interbedded with brownish-red, indistinctly laminated, bioturbated calcareous mudstone. Thermally metamorphosed into hornfels where in contact with Preakness Basalt. Near the base are two thin, laterally continuous beds of black, carbonaceous limestone and gray, calcareous siltstone, each up to 3 m (10 ft) thick. These contain abundant fish, reptile, anthropod, and diagnostic plant fossils. Three or four, thin, gray to black siltstone and mudstone sequences occur in upper part of unit. Near Oakland, subrounded pebbles to cobbles of quartzite and quartz in a red siltstone and sandstone matrix (Jfc) interfinger with sandstone and siltstone of the Feltville Formation. Maximum thickness about 155 m (510 ft).
Towaco Formation (Lower Jurassic)
Towaco Formation (Olsen, 1980) - Reddish-brown to brownish-purple, fine- to medium-grained micaceous sandstone, siltstone, and silty mudstone in upward-fining sequences 1 to 3 m (3-10 ft) thick. Distributed throughout formation are eight or more sequences of gray to greenish- or brownish-gray, fine-grained sandstone, siltstone and calcareous siltstone and black, microlaminated calcareous siltstone and mudstone containing diagnostic pollen, fish and dinosaur tracks. Sandstone is commonly trough cross laminated; siltstone is commonly planar laminated or bioturbated, but can be indistinctly laminated to massive. Thermally metamorphosed into hornfels where in contact with Hook Mountain Basalt. Conglomerate and conglomeratic sandstone with subrounded quartzite and quartz clasts in matrix of light-red sand to brownish-red silt (Jtc) interfingers with rocks of the Towaco Formation north and west of New Vernon. Maximum thickness is about 380 m (1,250 ft).