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All but one of the papers that follow represent a symposium summarizing the results of work carried on in Project 51 of the American Petroleum Institute. This had as its objective during the period 1951-1958 the study of modern sediments along the northwest margin of the Gulf of Mexico. The paper by Grover E. Murray, on the other hand, was not part of the project but was contributed to us to give the geological setting for the area of investigation.

This investigation of sediments came as a result of many years of deliberation by committees of the American Petroleum Institute and The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which finally led in 1951 to the creation of A.P.I. Project 51. Many petroleum geologists contributed toward the creation of this largest of the AP.I. geologic projects, and others have given generously of their time in advisory capacities. Much of the background which led to the project was prepared by Shepard W. Lowman, who first conceived the idea and headed a research committee in which preliminary plans were discussed. A. Rodger Denison, Clarence L. Moody, Marcus A. Hanna, Hugh A. Bernard, and R. Dana Russell have served as chairmen of the project advisory committees and all were of great assistance. The complete membership of the committees is given in an appendix at the end of the book. A F. Frederickson has been of considerable help to us in reviewing for the A.P.I. committee all the papers in this volume.

The project was given

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