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New Jersey Coastal Plain Drilling Project



New Jersey Coastal PlainThe objective of this IODP expedition is to obtain continuous cores and downhole logging measurements of siliciclastic sequences on this modern continental margin within crucial paleo-inner-shelf facies at three sites that represent the most sensitive and financially accessible locations for deciphering amplitudes and testing facies models. The coring goals are to:

  1. Date major "Icehouse" (Oligocene-Recent) sequences, a period of known glacioeustatic change, and compare ages of the unconformable surfaces bracketing these sequences with ages of sea-level lowerings predicted from the δ18O glacioeustatic proxy.
  2. Estimate the amplitudes, rates, and mechanisms of sea level change.
  3. Evaluate sequence stratigraphic facies models (e.g., systems tracts) that predict depositional environments, sediment compositions, and stratal geometries in response to sea level changes.
  4. Provide a baseline for future IODP drilling that will address the effects and timing of sea level changes on other passive margins.

The New Jersey Margin is an ideal location in which to investigate the history of sea level change and its relationship to sequence stratigraphy because it features:

  • Rapid depositional rates
  • Tectonic stability
  • Well-preserved, cosmopolitan fossils suitable for age control that characterize the sediments of this margin throughout the interval of interest
  • A large set of seismic, well-log, and borehole data with which to frame the general objectives and choose appropriate drill sites.

(Figure ©:Miller, McLaughlin, Browning [2003])



North America, U.S.A., United States of America, New Jersey, coastal plain



39° 38' 3'' N, 73° 37' 18'' W (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)


Project Start and End
  • Drilling from 30 April 2009 to July 2009


Programs and Funding


Principal Investigators
  • Gregory S. Mountain, Rutgers University, Wright Labs, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Kenneth G. Miller, Rutgers University, Wright Labs, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Nicholas Christie-Blick, Columbia University, The Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Division of Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics
  • Peter J. Sugarman, Rutgers University, Wright Labs, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Craig S. Fulthorpe, University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Department of Geological Sciences, Institute of Geophysics


Partners and Contractors



Climate Change, Continental Margin, Deep Biosphere, Drilling, Eustasy, Global Environment, ICDP-2006/04, New Jersey, NJCP, NJSS, Shallow Shelf, U.S. East Coast, U.S.A.


Current State





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