Sequence boundaries are impedance contrasts: Core-seismic-log integration of Oligocene-Miocene sequences, New Jersey shallow shelf

Kenneth G. Miller, James V. Browning, Gregory S. Mountain, Maria A. Bassetti, Donald Monteverde, Miriam E. Katz, Jenny Inwood, Johanna Lofi, Jean Noel Proust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 313 continuously cored uppermost Eocene to Miocene sequences on the New Jersey shallow shelf (Sites M27, M28, and M29). Previously, 15 Miocene (ca. 23-13 Ma) seismic sequence boundaries were recognized on several generations of multichannel seismic profiles using criteria of onlap, downlap, erosional truncation, and toplap. We independently recognize sequence boundaries in the cores and logs based on an integrated study of core surfaces, lithostratigraphy and process sedimentology (grain size, mineralogy, facies, and paleoenvironments), facies successions, stacking patterns, benthic foraminiferal water depths, downhole logs, core gamma logs, and chronostratigraphic ages. We use a velocitydepth function to predict the depths of seismic sequence boundaries that were tested by comparison with major core surfaces, downhole and core logs, and synthetic seismograms. Using sonic velocity (core and downhole), core density, and synthetic seismograms, we show that sequence boundaries correspond with acoustic impedance contrasts, although other stratal surfaces (e.g., maximum flooding and transgressive surfaces) also produce reflections. Core data are sufficient to link seismic sequence boundaries to impedance contrasts in 9 of 12 instances at Site M27, 6 of 11 instances at Site M28, and 8 of 14 instances at Site M29. Oligocene sequences have minimal lithologic and seismic expression due to deep-water locations on clinoform bottomsets. Miocene sequences (ca. 23-13 Ma) were sampled across several unconformity clinothems (prograding units) on topset, foreset, and bottomset locations. Excellent recovery allows core-seismic integration that confirms the hypothesis that unconformities are a primary source of impedance contrasts. Our core-seismic-log correlations predict that key seismic surfaces observed in other sub surface investigations without core and/or well logs are stratal surfaces with sequence stratigraphic significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257-1285
Number of pages29
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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