The sediments and stratigraphy of the East Coast continental margin : Georges Bank to Norfolk Canyon
Stetson, Henry C.
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The continental shelf off the northeastern coast of the United States was the first of our offshore coastal areas to be charted in detail by the Coast and Geodetic Survey, starting on Georges Bank in 1930. The techniques responsible for this increased accuracy in offshore waters were first described by Rudé (1938) and have been constantly improved. From these soundings Veatch and Smith (1939) compiled their set of contour charts aided by a grant from the Penrose Bequest of the Geological Society of America. These soundings reopened the submarine canyon problem first commented upon by Dana (1863), which had gradually lapsed into obscurity from insuffcient data. The reader is, of course, well aware of the major controversy, with all its far reaching implications, which has been precipitated since the 1930 surveys of Georges Bank were brought to the attention of geologists by Shepard (1933). As more of the new surveys were completed, data from the field sheets were kindly furnished by the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for use in dredging and coring operations. This field work, first reported in 1936, was continued from time to time until 1941 as new soundings became available. Rock dredging and coring has been carried out in every major canyon on the slope from Corsair Canyon at the tip of Georges Bank to Norfolk Canyon off the entrance to the Chesapeake (Fig. I). Numerous cores have also been taken from the areas in between; and while the whole slope from Georges to the Chesapeake has not been covered, it is believed that no significant areas have been missed. In fact, cores from the slope taken during the summers of 1940 and 1941 have yielded results that are corroborative rather than new. In 1938 on a cruise from Hudson Gorge to Norfolk Canyon, cores were taken on the slope in areas which Veatch had considered to be the most important (personal communication). In the following report the tows and cores will be described by areas from Georges Bank southwards, as the same region was revisited in successive years. The various samples, however, will be referred to by number followed by the year in which they were taken. The material is in storage in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. The late Joseph A. Cushman was kind enough to identify the Foraminifera which have been obtained in tows from the canyon walls and in cores, except for those described in Appendix A which is contributed by Fred B Phleger, Jr. Most of the type material is in storage in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, although at the present writing some is in the Cushman Laboratory in Sharon, Massachusetts. I am indebted to Lloyd W. Stephenson for identifying a molluscan fauna from one of the canyons, and to W. C. Mansfield who has reported on another formation. Numerous discussions with Percy E. Raymond have, as usual, proved most helpful, and thanks are also due to Eugenia C. Lambert for performing the mechanical analyses and to Constance French for other laboratory assistance. Phleger (1939, 1942, 1946) has previously published on the Foraminifera from the slope and deep water cores. This material is, at present, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
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