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A series of submarine banks along the outer edge of the northern Gulf continental shelf are occupied by reefal foraminiferal assemblages. The majority of specimens at these localities are dead, but a sparse living community is present on the shallowest banks. The reefal assemblages contain many species that have not been reported previously from the Gulf of Mexico, but most are well known from shallow reefs in the Caribbean. Cores recovered from the tops of the banks reveal the paleoecologic and biostratigraphic record of sea level fluctuations during the late Quaternary. The mutual presence of large planktonic and benthonic faunules in the same core samples provides direct means for equating paleobathymetric and paleothermal changes that resulted from glacial-interglacia climatic events.
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