Date of this Version
Five of the six sites drilled during Leg 77 of the Deep Sea Drilling Project yielded Cretaceous sediments. Two of these sites, 535 and 540, form a composite section that spans the upper Berriasian through most of the Cenomanian. Olive black marly limestones in this interval yield relatively rich, well-preserved nannofossil assemblages that allow biostratigraphic subdivision of the sequence. This composite section provides important information on the Early Cretaceous history of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as additional information on tropical Lower Cretaceous nannofossil assemblages. The post-Cenomanian nannofossil (and sedimentary) record is limited to a thin, condensed section of Santonian through lower Maestrichtian pelagic sediments at one site (538) and is absent or represented by redeposited material at the other sites. Two new genera, Perchnielsenella and Darwinilithus, are described. Two new taxa, Darwinilithus pentarhethum and Lithraphidites acutum ssp. eccentricum, are described; and two new combinations, Rhagodiscus reightonensis and Perchnielsenella stradneri, are proposed.