Paper No. 16
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Foraminiferal Communities from the Upper Cretaceous Coon Creek Formation of Tennessee
The Upper Cretaceous Coon Creek Formation is a 73 million year old site located in McNairy County, Tennessee about 90 miles east of Memphis. It qualifies as a lagerstätte, due to the exceptional preservation and diversity of the fossil assemblage, which was first described by Bruce Wade in 1926. The fossils from this location include several well-preserved mosasaur skeletons and the area was part of the northern Mississippi Embayment. The Coon Creek location has been interpreted as a near-shore shelf environment or a transitional delta platform environment. Work on the Coon Creek foraminiferal fauna was undertaken in the 1920s and 1930s. Since that time the foraminiferal fauna has been reviewed but no rigorous taxonomic work has been published. An in-depth reassessment of the foraminiferal assemblages will provide valuable paleoecological information. The type section of the Coon Creek Formation has been re-sampled for this study. The type section is located on a bluff that is 12 m in height and small sediment samples (approx. 5 g in weight) were taken at 25 cm intervals. A total of 45 samples were collected. Samples taken from the upper part of the type section are barren and contain no foraminifera. Samples from the lower part of the section have well-preserved foraminifera of the genera Cibicides, Anomalina, and Bolivina, which are indicative of a near-shore shelf environment.