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The stratigraphy of the Gulf Cast Miocene is characterized by numerous downdip and lateral biofacies changes. Six paleoecologic zones indicative of open-ocean conditions have been proposed for the Miocene of southern Louisiana. These zones have been organized to determine the ecology of the zone in which the marker Foraminifera are found, as well as to define their ecologic limits. Species that can traverse ecologic zones and that have died out in a recognizable stratigraphic interval are the best marker fossils. Clues to the deposition of various sand bodies may appear when paleoecologic zones are plotted directly on the electric logs. Preliminary studies show that commercial sand bodies are rarely found in the deep-water paleoecologic zones 5 and 6.
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