USGS identifier

Open-File Report 99-0308

Physical Stratigraphy, Paleontology, and Magnetostratigraphy of the USGS - Santee Coastal Reserve Core (CHN-803), Charleston County, South Carolina

By Lucy E. Edwards, Gregory S. Gohn, Jean M. Self-Trail, David C. Prowell, Laurel M. Bybell, Leon P. Bardot, John V. Firth, Brian T. Huber, Norman O. Frederiksen, and Kenneth G. MacLeod

Prepared in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

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The Santee Coastal Reserve core, a 545-ft-deep corehole in northeastern Charleston County, South Carolina, recovered sediments of Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, Eocene, and Quaternary age. The deepest sediments, the Donoho Creek Formation (545-475.7 ft), consist of 69.3 ft of muddy calcareous sand of marine origin. This formation is placed within the upper Campanian calcareous nannofossil Subzone CC 22c. The overlying Peedee Formation (475.7-367.1 ft) in the core consists of 108.6 ft of silty clay of marine origin. It is placed in upper Maastrichtian calcareous nannofossil Subzones CC 25b, CC 26a, and CC 26b. Combined fossil and paleomagnetic information indicates nearly continuous deposition. Foraminifers indicate an outer neritic paleobathymetric setting. The Rhems Formation sensu stricto (367.1-267.3 ft) consists of 99.8 ft of silty clay, muddy sand, and minor calcite-cemented, shelly sand of marine origin. It is apparently the product of rapid sediment accumulation during a short period of time in the early Paleocene (calcareous nannofossil Zone NP 1). The upper part of the Rhems Formation sensu Bybell and others (1998) (267.3-237.4 ft) consists of 29.9 ft of calcite-cemented muddy sand and burrowed fine sand of marine origin. It is placed in calcareous nannofossil Zone NP 4 and, because it shows normal polarity, likely represents the upper part of the lower Paleocene. This unit may be correlative with the lower part of the Lower Bridge Member of the Williamsburg Formation in its type area. The Lower Bridge Member of the Williamsburg Formation (237.4-125.0 ft) has an unconformable contact at 205.0 ft that divides the member into lower muddy sand beds and upper calcareous clay beds. Both are placed in the upper Paleocene calcareous nannofossil Zone NP 5. The Chicora Member of the Williamsburg Formation (125-51.5 ft) consists of 73.5 ft of muddy, shelly sand of marine origin. It is poorly dated but includes late Paleocene nannofossils (Zones NP 5 and NP 6). A mollusk-bryozoan limestone (51.5-42.0 ft) above the Chicora Member of the Williamsburg yields early Eocene calcareous nannofossils representing both Zone NP 9/10 and Zone NP 12, together with pollen and dinocysts that are younger.

Sediments of middle and late Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene ages were not recovered in the Santee Coastal Reserve core. The upper 42.0 ft of sediments represent Quaternary deposits and are included in the Wando Formation (42.0-28.0 ft) and the informal Silver Bluff beds (28.0-0 ft).

This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards or with the North American Stratigraphic Code. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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Last Updated 04.30.99