Paleoceanographic Model of Neogene Phosphorite Deposition, U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin

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Science  13 Jan 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4632, pp. 123-131
DOI: 10.1126/science.223.4632.123


The Neogene stratigraphic section of the southeastern U.S. continental shelf-coastal plain system is characterized by (i) a series of major regional phosphogenic episodes; (ii) a strong spatial relationship between the structural or topographic framework and phosphate deposition; and (iii) distinct cyclical and regional patterns of deposition of the terrigenous, carbonate, and phosphate lithofacies. The complex depositional patterns are explained by a paleoceanographic model based upon the interaction of glacial eustatic sea-level fluctuations, associated changes in climate, and the dynamics of the Gulf Stream in response to the bathymetric configurations of the continental margin during the past 20 million years.

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