Fossil Foraminifera from four active mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico

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Samples were collected for foraminiferal studies by the Johnson Sea-Link I and II manned submersibles on the Louisiana continental slope. This paper documents that the mud, extruded onto the sea floor from depth by four mud volcanoes, ranges in age from Miocene to Pleistocene based on studies of the planktonic foraminiferal fauna. The vents are in water depths ranging from 300 to 690 m located in Garden Banks Block 382, Green Canyon Blocks 143 and 272, and Mississippi Canyon Block 929. Two mud volcanoes in GB 382 and MC 929 also have rich fossil foraminiferal microfaunas. We suggest that the extrusion of fossil sediments onto the sea floor during the Quaternary is a reasonable explanation for frequent occurrences of displaced fossil microfaunas encountered at depth in wells drilling on the flanks of salt diapirs in the slope environment. Results of this study have important implications for age dating subsurface sediments in bathyal locations. © 1994 Springer-Verlag.

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Geo-Marine Letters

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