Sediments and Topography of the Western Gulf of Mexico



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Texas Tech University


Relative frequencies of temperature sensitive planktonic foraminifera, in sediment cores raised from the continental slope and Sigsbee Abyssal Plain in the Gulf of Mexico, indicate alternating periods of warm and cold climate during the Pleistocene. Wisconsin glacial sediments in the Sigsbee Abyssal Plain are characterized by numerous bottom flow intervals separated by thin pelagic intervals. Texas and Mexico coastal areas may be ruled out as a major source of sediment in the deep Gulf of Mexico.

The Mississippi River Submarine Canyon and its submarine distributary channels were alternately activated during interglacial and interstadial periods when sea level was higher. The Pleistocene Mississippi River served as the major source of sediment and the Mississippi River Submarine Canyon and Mississippi Cone served as the major transport route for sediments of the Sigsbee Abyssal Plain.