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Abstract: Significance of Pliocene Stratigraphic Paleontology, Gulf Coast
W. P. Leutze
Major oil reserves of South Louisiana are found in Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene sandstone reservoir rocks. Increasing rate of sediment concentration in depocenters explains the hydrocarbon richness of the Upper Miocene and Pliocene strata. This same factor led to increasing provincialism of faunas in post Oligocene time. The paleontologists' problems in younger Tertiary strata are compounded by an apparent slowing of foraminiferal evolution. Whereas the Oligocene paleontologist can employ some 20 regional marker zones to divide roughly 10,000 feet of section, the Pliocene worker must contend with no more than five or six zones to divide twice as thick a section. Recognition of temporal clines is vital to the stratigrapher who would subdivide an interval so nearly devoid of index species. Stratigraphic subdivision is not an end in itself, but is an indispensable step in the delineation of depocenters and depositional trends.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND ASSOCIATED FOOTNOTES
Atlantic Richfield Company, Lafayette, Louisiana
Copyright © 1999 by The Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies