Cretaceous and Paleogene benthic foraminifers from Leg 149 Holes 897C, 897D, 899B, and 900A were examined to complete biostratigraphic information for sediments deposited below the calcite compensation depth (CCD) and to obtain paleoecologic information on the depositional environment of these sites. Main results are that (1) the red abyssal claystones comparable to the NW Atlantic Plantagenet formation are mainly restricted to the Paleocene and Eocene at the sites studied; (2) Upper Cretaceous sediments are missing; the period from the Albian to Maastrichtian is comprised of a major hiatus; and (3) Lower Cretaceous sediments encountered at Site 897D contain small-sized neritic Aptian benthic foraminifers, which may have been redeposited from the Iberia shelf. The species composition and biostratigraphic succession of Paleogene deep-water agglutinated foraminifers of the Iberia Abyssal Plain exhibits striking similarities to faunas from deep-water sections in the Western Mediterranean and Alpine Tethyan Basins including the Gibraltar Seaway.
Date of initial receipt: 7 December 1994
Date of acceptance: 14 August 1995
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