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.
Magothy Formation (Upper Cretaceous, middle and lower Santonian)
Magothy Formation - Sand, fine- to coarsegrained, locally very gravelly (pebbles less than 1.3 cm (0.5 in) in diameter) especially in updip areas, typically cross stratified, massive, horizontally bedded, light-gray to white, carbonized wood (several centimeters long) and colorless mica scattered throughout. Black to dark-gray, very carbonaceous clay is locally interstratified with the sand. No calcareous fossils were recovered from the Magothy Formation in the shallow subsurface. In the Freehold drillhole the thin basal bed of the Magothy is composed of quartz gravel (maximum clast diameter, about 2.5 cm (1 in)). The lower part of the formation above the gravel consists of thin-bedded white clay interbedded with fine- to coarse-grained, poorly sorted, thickbedded, light-colored, somewhat micaceous quartz sand. The interbedded clay becomes dark gray up section and the sand is slightly glauconitic and locally shelly. Quartz is the major sand mineral. Siliceous rock fragments, mica, and feldspar are minor constituents. In general, this formation appears to be fluvial near the base (upper delta plain) and gradually becomes more marine upward (shelf). The overall sedimentologic pattern suggests a net transgression during deposition of the Magothy with shelf deposits overriding a nonmarine (probably deltaic) facies. Downdip at Buena, Atlantic County, the Magothy is 22 m (72 ft) thick and is primarily a massive to finely laminated, dark-gray, woody clay-silt. Unit is as much as 55 m (180 ft) thick in the northern part of the central sheet and generally thins to the southwest. The age of the Magothy is best defined by pollen. Christopher (1979) placed this palynoflora in his Zone V of early and late Santonian age. He also recognized three assemblage zones within Zone V, the Complexiopollis exiqua-Santalacites minor Zone (lowest), the ?Pseudoplicapollis longiannulata-Plicapollis incisa Zone (middle), and the ?Pseudoplicapollis cuneata-Semioculopollis verrucosa Zone (highest). All three zones are present in the Magothy in New Jersey. The foraminifera Marginotruncana marginata and Rosita fornicata were collected from the Island Beach corehole at 550 m (1804 ft) and are indicative of the Dicarinella asymmetrica Zone. Because of the overall character of the foram assemblage it is probable that these fossils indicate a late Santonian rather than early Campanian age (H.J. Dowsett, written commun., 1992). The Magothy, therefore, is Santonian or older in age.
Magothy Formation (Upper Cretaceous, middle and lower Santonian)
Magothy Formation - 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 Kummel, 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. Kummel 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.
Mt. Laurel Formation (Upper Cretaceous, upper Campanian)
Mt. Laurel Formation - 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 Kummel (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.
Potomac Formation, unit 3 (Upper Cretaceous, lower Cenomanian)
Potomac Formation - 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).
Shiloh Marl Member of the Kirkwood Formation (lower Miocene, Burdigalian)
Shiloh Marl Member - Consists of (1) a lower laminated, micaceous, locally fossiliferous (typically thin-walled, small mollusks), dark-gray clay interbedded with very fine grained sand and (2) an upper medium- to coarse-grained, gravelly, massive, pale-brown to medium-gray sand with scattered thin-walled mollusks. Thin, dark-gray clay layers interbedded with thin layers of lignite are common in this upper interval. Like the Wildwood, this unit occurs mainly within the southern sheet and the southeastern part of the central sheet. Thicknesses vary within the basin but are a maximum of 55 m (180 ft). In the Island Beach corehole the unit is clayey at the base and sandy at the top. The basal contact with the underlying unit is sharp but there is little reworked debris along this contact. In detail, the lowest 4.5 m (15 ft) of the unit is a fine- to medium-grained, massive, micaceous, extensively bioturbated, somewhat clayey, quartz sand. Small wood fragments are common. This basal sand bed grades upward into a sequence of horizontally bedded, light- to dark-gray clay and very fine grained, somewhat micaceous quartz sand. Color banding in this interval is strong. A very coarse grained, pale-gray quartz sand with some granules is interbedded with this dominantly clayey sequence. The clayey sequence is overlain by a medium-grained, massive, bioturbated, medium-gray sand similar to the basal sand. This sand grades into a thin- to thick-bedded and crossbedded sequence of dark-gray and brown sand that increases in grain size from coarse to very coarse grained up section. Most of the sand is quartz with lesser amounts of potassium feldspar (6 to 16 percent of the sand fraction). Near the top of the unit, quartz gravel is a common constituent in the very coarse grained sand bed. The age of the Shiloh is early Miocene (Burdigalian) as determined from diatoms. The Shiloh contains Actinoptychus heliopelta (ECDZ 1 of Andrews, 1987, 1988). Strontium age determinations on shells from this unit yielded ages of 20.9 to 19.7 Ma confirming the early Burdigalian age. Pollen studies indicate that the Shiloh has unusually high concentrations of Fagus (beech). Other pollen includes Quercus (oak), Carya (hickory), Pinus (pine), and Ulmus (elm) along with exotics. Overall the assemblage, except possibly for the high concentration of Fagus, indicates a warm-temperate climate during the time of deposition.
Tinton Formation (Upper Cretaceous, upper Maastrichtian)
Tinton Formation - Sand, quartz, and glauconite in varying proportions, very clayey and locally indurated by siderite into hard, massive ledges. Sand is dark gray to dark yellow where unweathered; where weathered, siderite changes color of unit to orange brown because of iron oxides, and the formation is stained or cemented in exotic patterns. The Tinton crops out in the northern part of the central sheet from Sandy Hook, Monmouth County, to the northernmost part of the Roosevelt quadrangle, near Perrineville. Unit unconformably overlies the Red Bank Formation in the high hills of the northern Coastal Plain, most notably near Perrineville and Morganville, Monmouth County. In these updip areas, fine gravel, 1 cm (0.4 in) maximum diameter, or large shell concentrations are found along the basal contact. The typical basal bed is a massive, glauconitic (10-35 percent), fine to medium-grained quartz sand with scattered gravel. The massive character of the basal bed is the result of extensive bioturbation. Burrows, filled with glauconite sand of the Tinton, project down into the quartz sand of the underlying Red Bank Formation. At lower elevations downdip, the Tinton is less weathered, much darker, more glauconitic, and typically indurated. The type locality on Pine Brook at Tinton Falls, Monmouth County, is in this downdip area. At Tinton Falls, 7 to 8 m (23-26 ft) of the Tinton is exposed and has a higher glauconite content than in the updip area. Glauconite at Tinton Falls is light green to pale yellow, and many of the grains have a smooth polished surface that is almost lustrous. Thin sections of the Tinton reveal that many of the grains are oolitic (Owens and Sohl, 1973). X-ray analyses indicate the presence of mixed clay minerals; therefore, the unit is not pure glauconite. The Tinton Formation at Tinton Falls has scattered molds of calcitic fossils and aragonitic shells. Richards (1958) recorded 30 species of mollusks from the Tinton in this area. Of importance are Sphenodiscus lobatus, Cucullaea (Idonearca) littlei, and Scabrotrigonia cerulia. In New Jersey, Scabrotrigonia cerulia is restricted to the Tinton. All three species are common to the upper Maastrichtian Haustator bilira Zone of Sohl (in Owens and others, 1977). Strontium-isotope analysis on calcareous shells from the Tinton yielded ages of 66.2 to 65.6 Ma or a late Maastrichtian age (Sugarman and others, 1995).
Unnamed Formation at Cape May (upper Pliocene)
Unnamed Formation at Cape May - Interbedded gravel, sand, and clay, massive to thickbedded. Informal unit described from a corehole at the Cape May Airport. The lower 18.3 m (60 ft) consists of interbedded gravel; medium- to very coarse grained, poorly sorted sand; and thin to thick beds of medium- to dark-gray, very woody clay. Gravel clasts are typically less than 0.64 mm (0.025 in) in diameter. The upper 12.2 m (40 ft) consists of a thick-bedded, medium-gray, extensively bioturbated clay-silt, which is overlain by an extensively burrowed, fine- to medium-grained glauconitic (about 5 percent) quartz sand. Quartz and siliceous rock fragments compose most sand grains. Feldspar is present in most samples but usually constitutes less than 10 percent of the sand fraction. No calcareous macrofossils were found in the burrowed intervals. Unit is known only to occur on the Cape May peninsula where it lies within a large channel. The unit is about 60 m (197 ft) in maximum thickness. The contact with the underlying Belleplain Member of the Kirkwood Formation is sharp and unconformable; a basal gravel bed as much as 1 m (3 ft) thick is present along the contact. The pollen assemblage in the lower part of the unit is dominated by pine and oak with somewhat lesser amounts of hickory and basswood. Spruce, hemlock, beech, alder, and black gum are minor constituents. Traces of fir, willow, birch, and sweet gum are present, as is exotic Engelhardia. The nonarborial pollen are a Multisia-type composite of the present-day Andean provenance which indicate an exotic cool climate. The lower assemblage suggests a cool-temperate climatic regimen. The pollen assemblage in the upper beds is dominated by oak and hickory with minor amounts of basswood, sweet gum, pine, and Multisia-type composite. Traces of cedar, willow, birch, alder, grass, and Sphagnum spores also are present. This assemblage probably represents a temperate climatic regimen (Les Sirkin, Adelphi University, written commun., 1991). The low percentage of exotic species is characteristic of the late Pliocene, and therefore, the unnamed unit at Cape May may be equivalent to the Beaverdam Formation of the Delmarva Peninsula of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.