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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 68 (1984)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 529

Last Page: 530

Title: Relationship of Benthic Foraminiferal Biofacies to Lithofacies in Phosphatic Miocene Sediments, Mid-Atlantic Continental Shelf: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Scott W. Snyder, Virginia J. Waters, Stanley R. Riggs


Changes in benthic foraminiferal assemblages accompany changes in total sediment texture and mineralogy (primarily percent phosphatic grains) throughout the Pungo River Formation in Onslow Bay, North Carolina. Only Burdigalian (late-early Miocene) deposits have been cored in southern Onslow Bay. Basal phosphorite sands (30% phosphate) are overlain by phosphatic (8%) muds and slightly phosphatic (4%) quartz sands. Elongate buliminaceans (Bolivina, Bulimina, Buliminella, Uvigerina) comprise over 50% of the benthic assemblage in phosphorites. They also predominate (43%) in phosphatic muds where Siphogenerina and Florilus become conspicuous faunal elements. Diverse trochospirally coiled forms (mainly Hanzawaia, also Valvulineria and Cibicides) become predominant in quartz san s; buliminaceans decline to 30% of the fauna. Pungo River deposits in northern Onslow Bay are Burdigalian, Langhian (early-middle Miocene), and Serravallian (middle Miocene) in age. Burdigalian deposits are nonphosphatic, muddy quartz sands in which Hanzawaia predominates and buliminaceans comprise only 22% of the fauna; Florilus accounts for 5%. Hanzawaia remains the dominant genus in the slightly phosphatic (4%) quartz sands of the Langhian and the phosphatic (10%) sands of the Serravallian; buliminaceans increase to 29% of the fauna, but Florilus nearly disappears. Both vertically and laterally through the Miocene of Onslow Bay, nutrient-loving buliminaceans thrive where phosphate content increases. Florilus and Siphogenerina are associated with the influx of fine-grained terrigenous ediments. The Hanzawaia-dominated assemblage thrives in clean,

End_Page 529------------------------------

coarser-grained substrates. Regional trends in the distributional patterns of these taxa may aid in locating additional phosphate deposits.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists