The deep-sea record, examined recently for the first time in a shallow-depocenter setting, has unveiled remarkable evidence for new sedimentary components and allocyclic complexity in a large, well-studied carbonate bank, the western Great Bahama Bank. The evidence is a composite foraminiferal signature - Paleocene to early Miocene (allogenic or reworked) and late Miocene to late Pliocene (host) planktic taxa, and redeposited middle Miocene shallow benthic faunas. Ages of the oldest and youngest planktic groups range from ??? 66 to ??? 2 Ma. The reworked and redeposited taxa are a proxy for significant sediment components that otherwise have no lithofacies or seismic resolution. The composite signature, reinforced by a distinctive distribution of the reworked and redeposited faunas, documents a much more complex late Neogene depositional system than previously known. The system is more than progradational. The source sequences that supplied the constituent bank-margin grains formed at different water depths and over hundreds of kilometers and tens of millions of years apart. New evidence from the literature and from data obtained during Ocean Drilling Program (OOP) Leg 166 in the Santaren Channel (Bahamas) support early interpretations based on the composite fossil record and provide valuable new dimensions to regional allocyclicity. The middle Miocene taxa were confined to the lower part of the section by the latest Miocene-earliest Pliocene(?) lowstand of sea level. An orderly occurrence of the allogenic taxa is unique to the global reworked geologic record and appears to have been controlled by a combination of Paleogene-early Neogene tectonics at the source, eustatic changes, and late Neogene current activity at the source and across the bank. The allogenic taxa expand the spatial and temporal range of information in the northern Bahamas by nearly an order of magnitude. In essence, some of the major processes active in the region during ??? 64 m.y. of the Cenozoic can be viewed from within a narrow (??? 6 m.y.) late Neogene window. In this case, the fossil record also serves to demonstrate the potential and significance in evaluating reworked and redeposited assemblages. Copyright ?? 1998, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).
Additional Publication Details
New allocyclic dimensions in a prograding carbonate bank: Evidence for eustatic, tectonic, and paleoceanographic control (late Neogene, Bahamas)
Journal of Sedimentary Research B: Stratigraphy and Global Studies