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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Journal of Sedimentary Research (SEPM)


Journal of Sedimentary Petrology
Vol. 39 (1969)No. 4. (December), Pages 1412-1419

Iron-Rich Layers in Sediments from the Gulf of Mexico

Jerry A. Watson, Ernest E. Angino


Thin yellow layers (0.5 to 2 cm) examined in seven cores in the west and central portions of the Gulf of Mexico are enriched in iron, manganese, cobalt, and nickel with respect to the surrounding sediments. The average enrichment is 66, 33, 51, and 28 percent, respectively. The highest correlation coefficients between single pairs of elements yield Co:Ni (r = 0.53), Fe:Ni (0.64), Fe:Co (0.62), and Mn:Co (0.50).

The yellow, iron-rich sediments commonly occur in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition zone and in the upper Pleistocene sediments. The iron-rich zones are considered to be the result of a reduced sediment accumulation rate. Carbon-14 dates support this argument. The close association with iron-stained foraminiferal tests in the sediments suggests post-depositional scavenging. The yellow layers are most prevalent on the lower continental slope, continental rise, and Sigsbee abyssal plain.

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