Upper Cretaceous (Santonian-Maastrichtian stages) strata of the eastern US Gulf Coastal Plain represent a relatively complete section of marine to nonmarine mixed siliciclastic and carbonate sediments. This section includes three depositional sequences which display characteristic systems tracts and distinct physical defining surfaces. The marine lithofacies are rich in calcareous nannoplankton and planktonic foraminifera which can be used for biostratigraphic zonation. Integration of this zonation with the lithostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy of these strata results in a framework that can be used for local and regional intrabasin correlation and potentially for global interbasin correlation. Only the synchronous maximum flooding surfaces of these depositional sequences, however, have chronostratigraphic significance. The sequence boundaries and initial flooding surfaces are diachronous, and their use for correlation can produce conflicting results. The availability of high resolution biostratigraphy is critical for global correlation of depositional sequences. ?? 1996 Academic Press Limited.