North Carolina. State Geologist.

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in the saltness of the waters of the Sounds. This is not sup-
posed to arise from a change of level a subsidence though
subsiding is not to be left out of view. It is attributed
mainly to the opening of new inlets, by which the ocean's
waters have a freer communication with the sounds. The
freshness of these waters had become such, that marine
shell-fish had died out ; but since the opening of the new
inlet, the waters are in the act of being peopled again with
marine animals. We cannot but notice, in these facts, what
has taken place in other parts of the world, and other times
than our own where many alternations of fresh and salt
water had occurred, each containing the fossils peculiar to
that state.

63. But to return to the Post Pliocene deposits. I remark,
that they do not contain the bones of extinct land quad-
rupeds, such as the mastodon, elephant, horse, &c. that
is, none have as yet been discovered in them, though
sought for. It goes to prove that these quadrupeds had
already become extinct, prior to their formation ; or, I may
say, the evidence leans strongly that way, when all the
facts are told. The coast oyster banks are the latest form-
ations the newest : -and probably their elevation or re-
clamation from the oceanic waters has been effected in
times only just anterior to the historical period.


64. There is what may be called a deposit upon the
banks of the Koanoke, which is worthy of notice, for this
reason: it marks distinctly the difference of deposits, which
have been made in geological time, from those made in ab-
solute time. This deposit consists of fresh water shells, and
contains along with them the bones oi the turtle, alligator,
turkey, dog, deer, and those of man ; together with the rude
utensils common to the savage state. It is a bank, one
fourth of a mile long, and twelve rods wide, and raised
eight feet above the adjacent plain. The part abounding in
these remains, is about four feet thick. This notice of a
formation is important only as illustrative of the distinction
between the ancient beds and the modern, containing the
bones of man, together with his implements of war. and his
apparatus for cooking. It is characteristic of all deposits,
the world over, which contain the remains of man. blended
with the remains of animals, all of which are now living;
all going to prove that man has not been nn inhabitant of
the earth only for a short period; inasmuch, too, as his re-
mains are found in none of the formations containing ex-
tinct species f either land or marine animals.

65. The Post Pliocene beds are co-extensive with the
Atlantic coast. They are naked beds; or with the slight
covering of vegetable mould which rarely exceeds eighteen
inches usually less I have seen large trees growing over
the beds ; but, in many places, they are naked wastes as
at 'Nagshead. These wastes are often exposed to the
furious Northeast winds which sweep over the sands and
hills, and bear them inland It will be seen, then, that a
beach is not wholly raised by vertical movements effected
by a subterranean force. Upon the Carolina coast, the
breakers carry forward the sand ; and, when they flow up
the inclined plane, the sand is spread out with great even-
ness, and then left there by the receding or retiring wave.

The wind, when strong, sweeps overt he dry and loose sand,
and bears it still farther : when it becomes drifting sand.
The coast gains more than it loses; and not only are the
sands brought up, but pieces of wrecks of vessels, iron bolti,
spikes, etc,; and even silver coins, from the sunken wrecks,
are sometimes found. A spear or fishing tackle, which is
lost overboard some 20 or 30 rods out, will be sure to be
found upon the beach in two or three days. This, perhaps
will not happen on all shores ; but those formed and acted
upon, like those at Nagshead, favor such a result.

66. PLIOCENE. Anterior to the post pliocene, the beds
which were deposited, whether in small basins, or in the
form of irregular belts skirting the seashore, or in caverns,
where terrestrial remains of extinct quadrupeds are found,
have received the name pliocene. The pliocene admits of
a sub-division; and has been designated, according to
position : the oldest and inferior, as it contains a larger pro-
portion of extinct species than living ones, is called older
pliocene : the superior, which contains fewer extinct than
living ones, is the newer pliocene.

Pliocene beds are not unfrequent in North-Carolina ;
but the beds which I now regard as pliocene, are not fully
determined as such : as the evident intermixture of fossils
of pre-existing formations, and the present uncertainty of
the species now living upon the coast, renders the appli-
cation of the rule of per centage uncertain : And I may
go farther, and question whether it is not impracticable to
draw lines of demarkation between the pliocene and the
miocene strata, lor the same reasons.

Following, however, the guides which have preceded me,
I shall refer certain beds to boih divisions of the tertiary
the pliocene and miocene without attempting, however,
to show to which division of the pliocene any of the marl
beds belong.


67. To the pliocene, I refer certain beds near Newberm
-those upon the plantation of Mr. Donnell. To the
miocene, I refer the beds upon the Tossnot and Little Coa-
tentney Creeks, in the upper part of the valley of the Neuse,
and between the Neuse and Tau rivers.

In the beds upon the Tossnot and Little Contentney,
I found the ear bones of whales, (cetacea,) probably true
whales, of the family Balcenidoz. and their vertebrae ; and
also bones of the mastodon ; and a species of Orbicula,
differing from the only recent one I know. Those of Fish-
ing Creek, a tributary of the Tau, may, also, be referred,
perhaps, to the older pliocene; but not certainly. Those
of Fishing Creek contain pectens, which are referred to the
miocene by Mr. Coarad. The investigation requires to
be continued.

To the miojene, also, I refer the beds at Rocky Mount,
Tauboro', and Goldsboro'. The bones of vertebrated ani-
mals are found in all of the beds at the localities, particularly
those belonging to the mastodon. We are obliged to refer
the mastodon giganticum to the miocene : the tooth, or
portion of one I procured at Tossnot is not the tooth of
the N. Augustidens : but we have associated, with these
bones, the large pectens, P. MADISONIUS, &c.

The section at Tauboro' exhibits the following strata :

1. Sand, at the water's edge.

2. Clay, containing lignite.

3. The shell marl, with abundance of pectens,

P. Madisonius, eight feet, contains the
fossils ; and three or four feet of clay,
without fossils.
4. Sand and gravel intermixed.

The marl contains coprolites. Rocky Mount furnishes
a similar section, with similar fossils, resting on granite.


Near Newbern, the beds which have been referred to as
pliocene, contain fulgur canaliculatus, and fusus quadricos.
tat us, (mioccne fossils,) astarte uatica, fissurella, calyptrea,
pectusculus, &c. ; the large beds of the other pectens be-
ing absent. The fossils of the Newbern beds, already spo-
ken of, on the plajitatior of the Hon. Mr. Donnell, contain a
large number of shells which 1 am unable to distinguish
from those of the coast. Mr Donnell's beds are white,
loose beds with crumbling shells, more or less chalky, in
consequence of being above water. The opening is re-
cent the bottom had not been reached. A fragment of
a bone of the mastodon was found also in this place.

We can scarcely avoid comparing this marl, with its
accompanying fossils, with the crag of Suffolk. The re-
markable display of sands, gray, red and brown, embraced in
these beds, assimilate the entire formation of ihis age upon
our coast to the crags of Suffolk, (England,) and the
fohluns of Touraine, in France

68. The beds of marl, upon the Cape-Fear, at Eliza-
beth ; at Walker's Bluff; those of Messrs. Lassai^ne, Cro-
marty, and others, have also been reienul to ihe miocene
period. At Elizabeth, the strata are various; consisting
of sand, clay, with light sandstone, marl, &c. &c., termin-
ating with colored sands, as follows :

1. Sands at the bottom of the cliff; gray and

thin seams of clay, and some lignite.

2. Bluish and sandy marl, pyritous.

3. Thin btds of coprolites, pebbles mixed

with shells and sand.

4. Consolidated sand, with fossils, area.

5. Marl, three or four feet thick.

6. Ferruginous sand, with diverse stratifi-


7. Blue clay.


8. Surface sands, of various colors, twenty-

five feet.

9. Between ihe clay and surface, same red

conglomerate of Fayetteville. It thins
out before it reaches Elizabeth, being the
surface sand, which is very thick in the
pine forests, and rests upon tno thin stra-
tum of blue clay.

It is probable that the marl rests upon the upper eocene.
The changes from the sands below, the rolled pebbles and
coprolites at the bottom of the marl, indicate a change, and
show the propriety of separating the upper from the lower
beds of the blutf or bank. The beds of Elizabeth, Bladen
County, abound in teeth of placoid fishes a single tooth
of chacharodon mealodon, saurian teeth, and a middle
portion of thigh bone of a large saurian But, as the teeth
and bones are more abundant among the rounded stone,
it looks highly probable that they may have been derived
from some older rock.

$ 69. At Brown's Landing, the b?d of marl in the bank
contains fossils of the same kind as at Elizabeth arid Wal-
ker's Bluff; and also contains many individuals of the
exogyra costala, a fossil regarded as characteristic of the
green sand, (cretaceous.) These individuals are in a fine
state of preservation some large, and others small but
none of them have been rolled on a beach. Both valves
are together, and the fossil is in a perfect condition. No
belemnite, an almost constant associate, has as yet been
lound at this olace. Notwithstanding the presence of ihe
exogyra, I am disposed to regard this bed. .as well as those
above, as miocene ; on the ground that these beds are de-
rived from the green sund. This view is supported by the
fact, that one fourth of the bed is made up of the particles
of this cretaceous rock. In the same position I place the
marl of Mr. McDowell, one mile from Brown's Lauding,


the marl of Miss Andress, where the exogyra abounds,
both young and old, associated with an oliva, identical*
I believe, with the one living on our coast, near the Fort
at Smithville.

$ 70. Whatever may be the result of inquiries respecting
the age of the shell marl deposits, it is plain that the only
mode by which satisfactory results can be reached, is, by
a copious collection from all the beds ; and, from the coast,
ot all living species. This should be undertaken ; tor the
questions are involved in obscurity and doubt ; and although
this course does not appear to advance the economical
objects of the Survey, still, it usually turns out, that what
appears, at firsU only a scientific interest, does, in the end,
promote, also, the practical application of the facts discov-
ered, or already known.

The majority of the shell marls of North-Carolina are
referred to the miocene period, by Professor Mitchell who
is sustained by Mr. Conrad, of Philadelphia. Those of this
subdivision of the tertiary, which are far inland, as those
at Elizabeth, contain very few, if any, of the molusca of
the green sand, and, perhaps, very few of the eocene; while
farther below, as at Brown's Landing, the lower fossils are
very common, and they appear as much at home there as
any ef their associates. It is probable, then, that this oc-
currence is due to the proximity of the beds to which they
belong. It should be observed, that these deposits of shell
marl are in banks which does not favor the view gener-
ally entertained that they reposed in and upon the strata
upon which they lived and died. They seem, rather, to
be beds formed by the action of waves, which have piled
them together in great disorder though .hey are not
water worn

71 EOCENE The lowest, or oldest bed, which I am
able to refer to this formation, consists of pebbles rounded
by attrition. They are beds from fifteen to twenty feet


thick ; and, at their western outcrop, form rounded hills,
as at and in the vicinity of Carthage, in Moore County.

Similar beds and eminences traverse the State. In the
vallies of the Koanokeand Dan rivers, they extend beyond
Leaksville. They overlap the pyrocrystalline rocks, the
granites, and gold slates, lying beyond the fossiliferous
beds, which succeed them in the ascen< ing order.

The extension, eastwaidly, towards the coast, cannot
be marked or determined very satisfactorily. Thin beds
of rounded pebbles are known beneath the fossiliferous beds i
but nothing interesting has been elicited concerning them.
The pebbles are pure quartz ; derived from the quartz
veins of the gold slates. In many places, the pebbles are
cemented together by iron ;-*-the coarser and finer sands
are also cemented, forming a pudding stone. These
cemented masses have taken various imitative forms : as
tubes, balls, cups, &c. The quantity of iron investing the
clay and sand is sufficiently large to pay for extracting it
for working. It olten furnishes good lirnonite. The
origin of tie cemented beds must be due to ferruginous
springs, which have ceased to flow; but which bring up
the carbonated oxyde, and flowing 1 subsequently through
and over the beds, have filled the intf rstices with ferrugin-
ous matter. This, adhering strongly to the stones and
sand, by this means has formed, finally, a pudding stone,
by cementation.* The ancient beds, which consist of
rounded stones and coarse gravel, with only obscure lines
of stratificaiion, are called shingle beds. They mark the
beginning of a new order of things ; and, hence, are impor-
tant, as a means for defining the boundaries of systems or

The term pudding stone has long 1 been in use j and I
apply the word to cemented masses formed above water;
while the term conglomerate is applied to those cemented
masses, or cohering peobles, which have been formed be-
neath the water.


Thin beds should never be regarded as similar, in their
origin, to norther drift, or transported rocks, or transport-
ed gravels and sand ; at least, in the mode in which mate-
rials, which have the same form, at the North, have been
transported. There is not a boulder or a drift bed in
North-Carolina. The masses which have been moved in
this and other Southern States have been by means of
rivers and oceanic waves those means which exist now,
and are in operation under our eyes.

But, to return to the ancient shingle beaches I observe
that they form the outer rim of all the ternary deposits a
rim which, it is true, may be interrupted in places; but
they range in a line, and cross the State to the westward
of the first fell of the principal rivers which drain the
Atlantic slope.

72. The beds which succeed the former, are clays
and sands of a greenish color, cherty clays and marls, to-
gether with interrupted beds of consolidated marl. The
latter assumes the condition of a porous rock, sufficiently
hard to form a building stone. It is an impure limestone
carbonate of lime forms about three-fourths of the rock.
Soft marl underlies the rock.

The tlrckness of all the beds which I now regard as
eocine, is not well determined the limestone, or upper
part of it, is only five, six. and perhaps ten feet, in some
places. At Col. Collier's plantation, near Goldsboro', 't is
only five or six feet. The lithologicnl characters vary
very much at different points; and sandy beds are replaced
by cherty ones, or the cherty clays and liVnestone.

At Wilmington the rock is extiemely tough and hard
though porous It is highly silicious. Beneath this, is a
softer portion, made up of carbonate of lime, which is in-
termixed with broken and rolled cnprolites; forming a
conglomerate. This portion of it is highly valuable as a
fertilizer, and has been employed as such by Dr. Togno,


at his vineyard near Wilmington. This gentleman's en-
terprise is one of great importance; and the results of his
experiments will be, to throw lioht, not only on the marls
as fertilizers, but upon the vine and other fruits which will
bear cultivation in this State.

73. At Wilmington, the fossils consist of scutilloe
royersi ; one or two species of echinodens ; teeth of the
genus charcharodon sulciiens, galeocerda pristodontus*
lamna elegans, &c. the latter of whish are by far the most
numerous. The teeth of sharks, which are so numerous,
and of which I procured many species, lie in greater num.
bers at the bottom of the higher and newer deposits.
They should be regarded here as characteristic only of
the oldest formations in which they are found. Their
hardness and form favors very much this removal from the
older to the newer rocks, wherever the latter derive a por-
tion of their materials from the former.

74. Some of the eocene, as well as the miocene, beds,
contain numerous bones ; these are generally broken
even the thickest are broken to pieces, some six or eight
inches in length ; thus , the femur of a saurian, one
and a half inches in diameter, was broken into three
pieces the ribs of a whale into pieces about eight inches
long. In these fractures, we observe the spicula of bone,
still sharp, and never rounded or worn. These fragments
are found embedded with delicate unbroken shells a fact
which throws considerable obscurity upon the causes
which have broken them ; for it does not appear, irorn
any phenomena, that these beds are subjected to a disturb-
ance, or to a force, since deposited in the beds in which
the' now repose, which could possibly break such strong
bones into such short pieces; especially when delicate
shells are presented entire. And it does not appear that
they have been subjected to attrition, to the action of
waves or stones.


75. It has been generally supposed, that the bones of
the whale, and mastodon, are found in the superficial cov-
erings, in those beds which are of the same age with
those at the North.

Now, the mastodon is found in the fresh water marl of
New York, and other localities ; or in beds which repose
upon that stratum called drift; and which is entirely
wanting here. But, in North Carolina, they are found in
the miocene, or older pliocene. The species of mastodon
seems to be the one which is found in New York.

The question comes up, are these Southern beds of the
same age with the fresh water marl beds of the North ?

The latter are regarded as post pliocene. The bones of
the horse and deer are also found in the same beds with
the mastodon, and belong to the same age. I procured
a grinder of the horse, at Greenville, in the sandy strata,
just above the miocene marl. All the extinct deer and
oxen, in New York, are found, also, in the fresh water
marls; associated with the freshwater shells; the species
of which are now living in our lakes and ponds ; and
yet, the quadrupeds, in both formations one in the South,
the other in the North are all entirely extinct.

If it should turn out, that the mastodon in the North
Carolina marls is a species, specifically different from that
of the fresh water marls of the North, the case would not
involve the question of comparative age of the beds in which
they occur. If the species are the same, it is difficult to
reconcile the fact with the present views of Geologists upon
that subject ; the age of deposits as deduced from their fos-

76. It is impossible to define at this time, the limits of
the eocene beds It is difficult to sub-divide the formation
clearly, though it appears, that, it admits of the same di-
vision, as in Alabama and Mississippi the cherty portion
beneath, and the consolidated marl, or the marl stone above.
But this part furnishes very few fossils. There is still a


mass, quite sandy, similar in outward appearance to the
green sand, which forms a feature, which should not be
overlooked, in making the natural division of the strata*
For agricultural purposes, the best beds are the marl stones ;
or those immediately beneath, which are sprinkled with
fragments of coprolites. When first removed from their
beds, they are soft, and easily crushed. When they have
been exposed to the atmosphere, and have lost their water,
they become hard, and crush with difficulty. They may
perhaps answer a good purpose in building and construe,


77. A substance which is well known to every person,
in the form and under the name of chalk, is a rock which
has given the name to the system, of which the green sand
is a member. But the chalk itself does not exist in the
United States. And the system, to which the green sand
belongs, has its principal representative, in the inferior or
oldest deposits. While no true chalk is found in the United
States, possessing the characters of the writing chalk of
Europe, there are still deposits, which nearly correspond
in age, wilh it. This view is supported by the numerous
fossils, which certain beds contain, identical with those of
the chalk of Europe,


This formation is very extensive in the United States.
From New-Jersey, South, to Alabama, it is one of the most
continuous deposits.

In North-Carolina, it is concealed by the soil, except in
favored positions. Upon the Cape-Fear, and its tributaries,
it is probably better exposed, and more accessible, than at
any point, known to me, farther North.

It consists of a series of beds, mostly sandy, alternating
with a few inconsiderable beds of argillaceous sand, colored
with chloritine matter. There are beds along the green
sandy formation, which are calcareous, and which I now
class with the eocene; but which may hereafter furnish
facts, which will place those calcareous beds in the creta-
ceous system. These calcareous beds, however, are desti-
tute of many, if not all, the characteiistic fossils of the
green sand, or cretaceous system, unless the single species
of ammonite should prove to be one -of them ; though, I
believe it will constitute a new species.

$ 78. The green sand beds are not distinguishable
from the eocene, by the presenceof I he green matter, which
has given it this name, as it is, also, quite common in the
overlying beds. This formation is beneath the shell marl,
which contains those large scollops, and generally with
beds, which are composed of aggregations of shells, closely
resembling those living bordering on the Atlantic. The
beds, of green sand may, however, be known by the
presence of a cylindrical fossil, of a yellowish color, and
which is 3 inches or more in length, and tapering to a con-
ical point at one end. When unbroken, it has a conical
cavity at the other end. It is called by s >me a thunder
bolt. Its name is belemnite It occurs upon the Cape
Fear, at Sykes' landing, some distance below Black Rock,
and it should be found at the latter place also. Another
fossil which is very common is the exogyra costata. It
is something like a thick rounded oyster shell. This is
abundant at Black Rock.


1 do not attempt, at this time, to speak of the extent or dis-
tribution of this lonnition or its thickness. But, I wish it
should be known, that it is an important rock; that it is one
of the best fertilizers, among the mineral manures. I have
spoken of the locality at Black Rock, as easy of access, and
probably, other places below may be equally so. It was,
in connection with rocks of this size, that beds, rich in
phosphate of lirne were discovered in England, only a
few years since, which have been a source of immense
profit, to the proprietors or owners.

This formation extends South of Wilmington, more than
twenty miles; but, generally, lies concealed beneath a thick
coveringfof sand and clay, and vegetable debris At Rocky
Hill, it has been known for many years Nine miles from
Wilmington, upon the Railroad, the green sand is twenty
feet from the surface. Where the strata of green sand are
exposed, in a vertical section, the surface is worn into un-
dulations ; and exhibits in consequence of the wearing ac-
tion of water, which has passed over, rounded ridges, alter-
nating regularly, with depressions. Several in succession
occur upon Dr. Togno's plantation three miles North of

As yet, the inferior part of this rock has not been opened

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