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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 283

Last Page: 283

Title: Bathymetric Distribution of Foraminifera in Jamaican Reef Environments: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Ronald E. Martin, David Liddell

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Recent foraminifera inhabiting Jamaican north-coast fringing reefs display variations in distributional patterns that are related to bathymetry and reef morphology. Sediment samples containing foraminifera were collected along a profile that traversed the back reef (depth 1-2 m), fore-reef terrace (3-15 m), fore-reef escarpment (15-27 m), fore-reef slope (30-55 m), and upper deep fore reef (70 m). Approximately 150 species distributed among 80 genera were identified from the samples. Preliminary analyses indicate that diversity values (S, H^prime) are lowest on the fore-reef terrace (79, 3.0, respectively), increase similarly in back-reef and fore-reef escarpment and slope settings (93, 3.4), and are highest on the deep fore reef (109, 3.7). Larger groupings (suborders) e hibit distinct bathymetric trends with miliolids occurring more commonly in back-reef (comprising 51% of the fauna) than in fore-reef (28%) zones, whereas agglutinated and planktonic species occur more commonly in deeper reef (> 15 m, 9% and 4%, respectively) than in shallower reef zones (< 15 m, 3%, and 0.5%, respectively). Among the more common species Amphistegina gibbosa (Rotolina) is much more abundant in fore-reef (28%) than in back-reef (8%) environments, whereas Archaias angulatus (Miliolina) is more abundant in back-reef (15%) than in fore-reef (3%) environments, and Sorites marginalis (Miliolina) occurs almost exclusively in the back reef, where it comprises 5.5% of the fauna. Q-mode cluster analysis, involving all species collected, enabled the delineation of back-reef, hallow fore-reef, and deeper fore-reef biofacies, also indicating the potential utility of foraminiferal distributions in detailed paleoenvironmental interpretations of ancient reef settings.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists