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Abstract

Deep-water foraminiferal assemblages contain: (1) indigenous benthic taxa; (2) planktonic taxa from surface habitats; and (3) allochthonous benthic taxa from shelf habitats. Each of these categories of foraminifera carries information on the processes, lithology, and reservoir properties of deep-water environments. Unique associations of foraminifera (index taxa) might therefore be useful proxies for deep-water lithofacies that are important to the study of reservoir quality. Results to date suggest that abundance and succession patterns of frequently associated foraminiferal taxa define lithobiofacies that comprise a range of reservoir-prone and barrier-prone sedimentary units. Key deep-water lithobiofacies taxa and corresponding lithofacies commonly recognized in Gulf of Mexico wells include: (1) clean sands barren of foraminifera /massive fan channel and fan lobe sands composed of grain flows and Bouma “A” turbidite beds; (2) deep-water agglutinated flysch-type index foraminifera /laminated Bouma “B” through “E” turbidite beds; (3) allochthonous marginal-marine deltaic index foraminifera /siliciclastic basin-margin debrites; (4) allochthonous calcareous-bank–turtle-grass-flat index foraminifera/mixed siliciclastic–calciclastic basin-margin debrites; (5) open marine outer-shelf–upper-slope distal prodeltaic index foraminifera/proximal hemipelagites; (6) deep-water calcareous infaunal suboxic–dysoxic-basin index foraminifera/confined (ponded) hemipelagic dysoxites and oxygen-minimum dysoxites; (7) deep-water calcareous infaunal oxic-dysoxic–interface index foraminifera/sapropelites; (8) deep-water calcareous epifaunal index foraminifera/unconfined lower-slope and rise condensed hemipelagites; and, (9) foraminiferal ooze rich in planktonics/unconfined slope to abyssal-plain condensed pelagites.

Geologic Problem Solving with Microfossils: A Volume in Honor of Garry D. Jones

SEPM Special Publication No. 93, Copyright © 2009

SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), ISBN 978-1-56576-137-7, p. 323–336.

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