Correlation of Miocene sequences and hydrogeologic units, New Jersey Coastal Plain

Peter J. Sugarman, Kenneth G. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We have developed a Miocene sequence stratigraphic framework using data from recently drilled boreholes in the New Jersey Coastal Plain. Sequences are shallowing upward, unconformity-bounded units; fine-grained shelf and prodelta sediments grade upward to delta front and shallow-marine sands, corresponding to confining bed-aquifer couplets. By dating Miocene sequences using Sr-isotope stratigraphy, and mapping with borehole data and geophysical logs, we can predict the continuity and effectiveness of the confining beds and aquifers. The following are illustrated on a 90-km basinward dip section: (1) the composite confining bed is comprised of the KwO and lower Kw1a (ca. 23.8-20.5 Ma) sequences downdip at Atlantic City, and the Kw1b, Kw1a and older sequences updip (ca. 69.3-20.6 Ma), and is continuous throughout most of the coastal plain; (2) the major confined aquifer, the Atlantic City 800-foot sand, is comprised of the upper Kw1a and Kw1b sequences (ca. 20.5-20.2 Ma) and is an areally continuous sand that is interconnected with the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system updip of Mays Landing; (3) the confining bed above the Atlantic City 800-foot sand is comprised of the Kw2a, Kw2b, and Kw3 sequences (18.1-13.3 Ma) and is an extensive confining bed that pinches out updip. These sequences and aquifer-confining bed couplets are linked to global sea-level changes evinced by the δ18O record. We conclude that sequence stratigraphy is a powerful tool when applied to regional hydrogeologic problems, although basinal tectonic differences and localized variations in sediment supply can affect aquifer thickness and permeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalSedimentary Geology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Feb 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy


  • Atlantic Coastal Plain
  • Facies
  • Hydrogeology
  • Miocene
  • Sequences
  • Strontium isotopes


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