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Open–File Report 2009–1194

Prepared in cooperation with the North Carolina Geological Survey and the University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Preliminary Physical Stratigraphy and Geophysical Data From the USGS Dixon Core, Onslow County, North Carolina

By Ellen L. Seefelt, Wilma Aleman B. Gonzalez, Jean M. Self-Trail, Robert E. Weems, Lucy E. Edwards, Herbert A. Pierce, and Colleen T. Durand

Thumbnail of front cover and link to report (48,650 KB)


In October through November 2006, scientists from the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) Eastern Region Earth Surface Processes Team (EESPT) and the Raleigh (N.C.) Water Science Center (WSC), in cooperation with the North Carolina Geological Survey (NCGS) and the Onslow County Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA), drilled a stratigraphic test hole and well in Onslow County, N.C. The Dixon corehole was cored on ONWASA water utility property north of the town of Dixon, N.C., in the Sneads Ferry 7.5-minute quadrangle at latitude 34˚33’35” N, longitude 77˚26’54” W (decimal degrees 34.559722 and -77.448333). The site elevation is 66.0 feet (ft) above mean sea level as determined using a Paulin precision altimeter. The corehole attained a total depth of 1,010 ft and was continuously cored by the USGS EESPT drilling crew. A groundwater monitoring well was installed in the screened interval between 234 and 254 ft below land surface. The section cored at this site includes Upper Cretaceous, Paleogene, and Neogene sediments. The Dixon core is stored at the NCGS Coastal Plain core storage facility in Raleigh.

The Dixon corehole is the fourth and last in a series of planned North Carolina benchmark coreholes drilled by the USGS Coastal Carolina Project. These coreholes explore the physical stratigraphy, facies, and thickness of Cretaceous, Paleogene, and Neogene Coastal Plain sediments in North Carolina. Correlations of lithologies, facies, and sequence stratigraphy can be made with the Hope Plantation corehole, N.C., near Windsor in Bertie County (Weems and others, 2007); the Elizabethtown corehole, near Elizabethtown, N.C., in Bladen County (Self-Trail and others, 2004b); the Smith Elementary School corehole, near Cove City, N.C., in Craven County (Harris and Self-Trail, 2006; Crocetti, 2007); the Kure Beach corehole, near Wilmington, N.C., in New Hanover County (Self-Trail and others, 2004a); the Esso#1, Esso #2, Mobil #1, and Mobil #2 cores in Albermarle and Pamlico Sounds, N.C. (Zarra, 1989); and the Cape Fear River outcrops in Bladen County, N.C. (Farrell, 1998; Farrell and others, 2001). This report contains the lithostratigraphic summary recorded at the drill site, core photographs, geophysical data, and calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphic correlations.

Posted September 2009

  • Report PDF (48,650 KB)
  • The photographs following Appendix 3 are not Section 508 compliant. The photographs are of boxes containing core samples from the Dixon Core, Onslow County, North Carolina, and are described in Appendix 1.

For additional information, contact:

Ellen L. Seefelt
Eastern Earth Surface Processes Science Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 926A
Reston, VA  20192-0002

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Seefelt, E.L., Gonzalez, W.A.B., Self-Trail, J.M., Weems, R.E., Edwards, L.E., Pierce, H.A., and Durand, C.T., 2009, Preliminary physical stratigraphy and geophysical data from the USGS Dixon Core, Onslow County, North Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009–1194, 136 p., available at

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