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Micropalaeontological discrimination of contourite and turbidite depositional systems
Rogerson, M.; Fielding, S. (2014). Micropalaeontological discrimination of contourite and turbidite depositional systems, in: Van Rooij, D. et al. (Ed.) Book of Abstracts. 2nd Deep-Water Circulation Congress: The Contourite Log-book. Ghent, Belgium, 10-12 September 2014. VLIZ Special Publication, 69: pp. 25-26
In: Van Rooij, D.; Rüggeberg, A. (Ed.) (2014). Book of Abstracts. 2nd Deep-Water Circulation Congress: The Contourite Log-book. Ghent, Belgium, 10-12 September 2014. VLIZ Special Publication, 69. Ghent University, Department of Geology and Soil Science/Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende. xviii, 152 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Micropalaentology; Ancient contourite; Palaeo-ecology

Authors  Top 
  • Rogerson, M.
  • Fielding, S.

Abstract
    Unambiguous recognition of ancient contourites remains problematic on sedimentological grounds alone. Identification of clear, unambiguous and simple tools that could be applied to depositional systems on multiple scales from outcrop to drill stem cuttings would have major application in both academic and industrial research. Benthic foraminiferal micropalaeontology appears to offer such a tool. Comparison of similar materials from a turbidite system (El Buho canyon and fan, Tortonian, Tabernas Basin, Spain; EB) and a contourite system (Gulf of Cadiz Contourite, southwest of Iberia; GC) provides three key points of difference: 1) most medium and coarse sand deposits in EB are barren of tests, whereas barren samples GC are rare; 2) diversity is higher in muds than in silts in EB, but the opposite is true for GC; 3) EB taxa show a tendency towards opportunism, whereas GC taxa contain abundant filter-feeding specialists. Considerably more data is needed before these differences can be concluded to be general and diagnostic, but the potential for micropalaeontology to provide strong support for traditional sedimentological approaches is clear.

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