Papers by Duncan, D.S.

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Duncan, D.S. , Locker, S.D. , Brooks, G.R. , Hine, A.C. , and Doyle, L.J. . 2003. Mixed carbonate-siliciclastic infilling of a Neogene carbonate shelf-valley system: Tampa Bay, West-Central Florida. Marine Geology, v. 200, p. 125-156
The shelf-valley system underlying Tampa Bay, Florida?s largest estuary, is situated in the middle of the Neogene carbonate Florida Platform. Compared to well-studied fluvially incised coastal plain valley systems, this shelf-valley system is unique in its karstic origin and its alternating carbonate-siliciclastic infill. A complex record of sea-level changes, paleo-fluvial variability and marine processes have controlled the timing and mechanisms of this `compound? shelf-valley infill. A dense grid of high-resolution, single-channel seismic data were collected at the mouth of Tampa Bay, in an attempt to define this stratigraphy, determine the controls on deposition, and define the underlying structure of this shelf-valley system. The seismic data were correlated with nearby wells and boreholes for lithologic and age control. Sequence stratigraphic methods were incorporated in order to develop an integrated chronostratigraphy for the depositional infilling of the shelf-valley system. Five seismic sequences were identified. Sequence boundaries generally show erosional truncation and karstification, with downlap of overlying sequences. Structure contour and isopach maps indicate that the Tampa Bay shelf-valley system has remained in essentially the same location since its formation in the early Miocene, although the provenance of sedimentary infill has changed. This change is due to increasing amounts of siliciclastic material during the Neogene. Seismic facies interpretations indicate lower-energy, northward prograding deposition dominated by predominantly carbonate sediments within the lowest Sequence A. Higher energy, siliciclastic fluvio-deltaic deposition within sequences B and C originates to the east and northeast of the shelf-valley system related to a Pliocene pulse of sedimentation onto the Florida Platform. Finally, marine processes (longshore transport, ebb-tidal delta formation) dominate the upper two sequences (D and E), reworking these siliciclastic sediments into a spatially mixed carbonate-siliciclastic depositional setting.
Obrochta, S.P. , Duncan, D.S. , and Brooks, G.R. . 2003. Hardbottom development and significance to the sediment-starved west-central Florida inner continental shelf. Marine Geology, v. 200, p. 291-306
Hardbottoms are sequence boundaries and condensed sections that offer clues for the interpretation of the incomplete record of Tertiary continental shelf evolution. Seaward of 5 km, 50% of the inner west-central Florida shelf seafloor is flat hardbottom. These lithified surfaces are punctuated by shorefacing, scarped hardbottoms that trend shore-parallel (330??0?) and vary in relief (up to 4 m). Scarped hardbottoms are the only natural relief on the inner shelf and support a diverse benthic community, the activities of which erode the outcrops, producing undercuts in excess of 1 m. Outcropping hardbottom strata are comprised of distinct, phosphate-rich, mixed carbonate?siliciclastic lithofacies, that range in age from Miocene to Quaternary. Miocene units are dolomite-rich and mark the upper surface of the inner shelf bedrock (Hawthorn Group). Dolomite within these beds (silt-sized, cloudy centered rhombs) fall into two age groups, correlating with highstands at 15 and 5 Ma. This lithofacies is consistent with models that indicate an increased flux of organic matter ? resulting from topographically induced upwelling ? promoting dolomitization during early burial diagenesis in the sulfate-reduction zone. Quaternary units are calcite-rich and perched atop the shelf bedrock. Samples of these units record a complex diagenetic history and multiple sea-level fluctuations. Based on evidence of primary marine cementation, they are interpreted to be hardground (non-deposition) surfaces, forming as a function of sediment starvation and minimal sediment movement. Decreased highstand magnitude or duration may have resulted in the absence of a significant organic component to Quaternary hardbottoms, which, in turn, may prevent subsequent dolomitization. These outcrops are a potential source for sediments to the inner shelf, not only as habitat for biological sediment production, but also through their destruction. The undercut, shorefacing, scarped hardbottom morphology displayed by west-central Florida hardbottoms is indicative of bio-erosion. Preliminary studies indicate a potential mass of 0.04 kg m-2 yr-1 of siliciclastic sediment is released to the inner shelf.
Hine, A.C. , Brooks, G.R. , Davis Jr., R.A. , Duncan, D.S. , Locker, S.D. , Twichell, D.C. , and Gelfenbaum, G. . 2003. The west-central Florida inner shelf and coastal system: a geologic conceptual overview and introduction to the special issue. Marine Geology, v. 200, p. 1-17
This paper provides an overview for this special publication on the geologic framework of the inner shelf and coastal zone of west-central Florida. This is a significant geologic setting in that it lies at the center of an ancient carbonate platform facing an enormous ramp that has exerted large-scale control on coastal geomorphology, the availability of sediments, and the level of wave energy. In order to understand the Holocene geologic history of this depositional system, a regional study defined by natural boundaries (north end of a barrier island to the apex of a headland) was undertaken by a group of government and university coastal geologists using a wide variety of laboratory and field techniques. It is the purpose of this introductory paper to define the character of this coastal/inner shelf system, provide a historical geologic perspective and background of environmental information, define the overall database, present the collective objectives of this regional study, and very briefly present the main aspects of each contribution. Specific conclusions are presented at the end of each paper composing this volume.
Hill, T.M. , Brooks, G.R. , Duncan, D.S. , and Medioli, F.S. . 2003. Benthic foraminifera of the Holocene transgressive west-central Florida inner shelf: paleoenvironmental implications . Marine Geology, v. 200, p. 263-272
The sedimentology, stratigraphic position, and benthic foraminiferal biostratigraphy of early- to mid-Holocene deposits from the west-central Florida shelf suggest that barrier islands developed along this coast as early as 8.3 ka, in an environment that was more arid than today. Predominant foraminifera of three paralic sedimentary facies deposited between 5.3 and 8.3 ka include miliolids, Elphidium spp., and Ammonia spp., all of which are common in back-barrier environments. Foraminiferal assemblages also suggest that early back-barrier sediments were deposited in a hypersaline environment, similar to that of the arid Laguna Madre of the western Gulf of Mexico. Modern back-barrier foraminifera in the Tampa Bay region are indicative of the humid subtropical climate of today. Thus, the climate of west-central Florida at approximately 8 ka was more arid than today, which is consistent with recent studies showing that climate in the Gulf of Mexico was dryer and cooler during this time period.
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