Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Kulp, Mark

Second Advisor

Totten, Matthew

Third Advisor

Brunner, Charlotte


Incorporating improved preparation techniques, modern taxonomy, and quantitative analysis of environmental variables known to influence marsh foraminifers in other coastal regions refined marsh foraminiferal biofacies of the Mississippi delta region. Elevation, pore water salinity, total carbon, and mean grain size were compared with foraminiferal distributions in a transgressive marsh system of the lower Lafourche headland of the south-central delta plain. Cluster analysis aided definition of two biofacies, one from the marsh interior and one from the marsh edge. The marsh edge biofacies was further subdivided into levee crest and bayou margin biofacies. Correlation analysis suggested that seven of the 21 most common foraminifers correlated significantly with physical variables. Juvenile Trochammina inflata correlated with salinity; Ammotium crassus and Ammonia parkinsoniana correlated with elevation; Polysaccammina ipohalina and Miliammina fusca correlated with grain size; and Miliammina fusca correlated with organic carbon. The trends are consistent with relationships observed in many other coastal regions.


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