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High resolution stratigraphy is important in understanding sedimentary systems in the Gulf of Mexico basin. We have been using magnetic susceptibility measurements, a relatively new, abiotic method, to characterize global stratotype sections defined for the Paleogene and projecting that work into the Gulf Coast. When magnetic susceptibility is combined with chronostratigraphically calibrated biostratigraphic data, such as that provided by our ongoing multi-well Gulf of Mexico basin-wide graphic correlation project, very high resolution is possible. Here we show preliminary data for the Paleocene, including the Paleocene-Eocene boundary stratotype in Egypt, and use characteristic in that data to identify the boundary location in the Gulf Coast. The MGS-1 Harrell core (southeastern Mississippi) and the OSM-2 Wahalak core (southwestern Alabama) penetrate Wilcox “type” section, sampling member beds of the Clayton, Porters Creek, Naheola, Nanafalaya, Tuscahoma, and Hatchetigbee formations. Results of this investigation illustrate the potential utility of the methods for detailed stratigraphic studies in the Gulf Basin. We plan to extend our Gulf Basin magnetic susceptibility chronology through the Eocene in an effort to clarify unresolved stratigraphic problems in ultra deep-water Gulf of Mexico sediments of Paleocene and Eocene age that are important targets of the petroleum exploration industry. Of particular interest will be examination of the age and duration of the Eocene foraminiferal and calcareous nannofossil “barren interval” and the radiolarian zones identified within it.

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