Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles
Electron Microscopy of Quartz Grain Surface Textures: The U.S. Eastern Atlantic Continental Margin
Journal of Sedimentary Petrology
Abrasion features on quartz grain surfaces from sand on the continental shelf from Nova Scotia to Florida follow a predictable pattern which reflects the relict nature of sediment covering most of the U.S. Atlantic Shelf. Grains with features indicative of glacial abrasion are present in many samples from the shelf north of Delaware. Beach textures are present on grains from most shelf areas studied. Solution features are dominant on quartz grains from the Florida shelf. Possibly these sand grain features are related to the high calcium carbonate content of Florida beach and shelf sediments in that the number of quartz grain-to-quartz grain impacts is reduced. A study of local variability of surface textures in sediments off the North Carolina coast indicated some minor differences in wave energies of relict beaches may have existed. An examination of sand grains from lower continental rise turbidite sands on the Hatteras Outer Ridge off North Carolina revealed the presence of glacially abraded quartz grains. Surface features of glacial were not observed on grains from the adjacent shelf, therefore, the glacial grains are assumed to have been derived from the ice age Chesapeake Bay drainage system.
Patricia Blackwelder and Orrin H. Pilkey. 1972. Electron Microscopy of Quartz Grain Surface Textures: The U.S. Eastern Atlantic Continental Margin .Journal of Sedimentary Petrology , (3) : 520 -526. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/830.