Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




Pleistocene terraces on the Atlantic Coastal Plain have been recognized since the late 1800's, and from four to seven terraces have been described throughout Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. These terraces are now named Brandywine, Coharie, Sunderland, Wicomico, Penholoway, Talbot or Chowan, and Pamlico; and they are defined by relatively concordant shorelines at altitudes of 270-, 215-, 170-, 100-, 70-, 42-, and 25 feet above sea level. They have been correlated with respect to the glacial ages and substages and corresponding eustatic changes in sea level. The Various hypotheses regarding the origin of the terraces are: 1. Marine, with a cycle of marine deposition, uplift and erosion, and submergence with a continuous fall of sea level: 2. A dominantly fluvial origin; and 3. A combination fluvial-marine origin. No one hypothesis has been accepted completely, although the second marine hypothesis and the fluvial hypothesis have had more support than any other.