Sequence stratigraphy provides an understanding of the interplay between eustasy, sediment supply and accommodation in the sedimentary construction of passive margins. We used this approach to follow the early to middle Miocene growth of the New Jersey margin and analyse the connection between relative changes of sea level and variable sediment supply. Eleven candidate sequence boundaries were traced in high-resolution multi-channel seismic profiles across the inner margin and matched to geophysical log signatures and lithologic changes in ODP Leg 150X onshore coreholes. Chronologies at these drill sites were then used to assign ages to the intervening seismic sequences. We conclude that the regional and global correlation of early Miocene sequences suggests a dominant role of global sea-level change but margin progradation was controlled by localized sediment contribution and that local conditions played a large role in sequence formation and preservation. Lowstand deposits were regionally restricted and their locations point to both single and multiple sediment sources. The distribution of highstand deposits, by contrast, documents redistribution by along shelf currents. We find no evidence that sea level fell below the elevation of the clinoform rollover, and the existence of extensive lowstand deposits seaward of this inflection point indicates efficient cross-shelf sediment transport mechanisms despite the apparent lack of well-developed fluvial drainage.
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