Date of Award

Summer 1986

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Stephen J. Culver

Committee Member

Carl F. Koch

Committee Member

Charles C. Smith

Committee Member

Randall S. Spencer

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4P34


Eighty-one species of benthic foraminifera have been recovered from chalky marls of the upper Mooreville Formation including the Arcola Limestone Member, and the basal Demopolis Formation located in five sections in east-central Mississippi and west-central Alabama. These species have been described and seventy-nine illustrated. Analysis of the environmental or depth preferences of abundant species together with planktonic percentages and benthic species diversity, indicates that the chalky marls were deposited in a broad shallow shelf sea (subtidal conditions less than 100m) greatly influenced by open ocean conditions. The benthic assemblage is composed of a mixture of typically neritic and bathyal species possibly resulting from the influence of upwelling currents.

Cluster analysis defined groups of samples that suggest the easternmost and westernmost sections were deposited in a shallower shelf environment than the three central locations. This interpretation is in agreement with Upper Cretaceous paleogeography for the eastern Gulf Coastal Plain based on macrofossils. Cluster analysis also suggests a trend through time of increasing paleobathymetry from the early to middle upper Mooreville to the basal Demopolis, with a subsequent return to a shallower paleobathymetry.


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