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Manuscript received, October 7, 1959. Contribution No. 36, Marine Foraminifera Laboratory.


When a research project is completed, or at least discontinued, it is instructive to make an inventory of what has been accomplished and what is indicated for further work. One of the characteristics of scientific research, especially that in sedimentology, seems to be that few if any problems are ever permanently solved. In general, our results help to define further problems for study and may lead to a more sophisticated approach.

The study of recent sediments in the northwest Gulf of Mexico, conducted by members of American Petroleum Institute Project SI, has been a liberal education in sedimentology for all of the numerous participants. This is perhaps its most important contribution. Several young men have gained insight into various phases of sedimentology by working on the project. In addition, we of the older generation have greatly profited, and now realize how naive we were in this field nine years ago when the project began.

The following is an attempt to place the activities and results of A.P.I. Project 51 work in the northwest Gulf of Mexico in their proper perspective. The opinions stated are those of the writer. It is hoped that many of the opinions will lead to further discussion and even controversy, thus promoting active advance in the field of sedimentology.

The contributions made by the many workers on this project have been numerous and significant, and the writer views these accomplishments with considerable satisfaction and pride. The studies have materially contributed to our understanding of Recent marine

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