Abstract

This paper surveys the new frontiers in micropaleontology with especial reference to their possible contribution to petroleum exploration, and emphasizes those groups of microfossils which have not yet received the attention their presumed economic potentialities suggest they merit. In this category belong protozoans other than foraminifera, microscopic plant remains such as sillicoflagellates, coccoliths, discoasterids, and spores and pollen, as well as fragments, dissociated parts, or growth stages of typically megascopic fossils, such as crinoids, holothurians, bryozoans, worms, trilobites, and so forth.The microfossils potentially useful in the search for petroleum are discussed in the light of the thesis that in the future micropaleontologic studies should contribute not alone to the routine identification of horizons penetrated by the drill, as at present, but to the solution of some of the more obscure, yet vitally important, geological problems concerning oil and gas, such as the evaluation of the roles of the organic, paleogeographical, sedimentological, stratigraphical, and structural factors in the origin and localization of these hydrocarbons.

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