Foraminifers as Facies Indicators in a Tropical Macrotidal Environment: Torres Strait–Fly River Delta, Papua New Guinea

  1. B. W. Flemming and
  2. A. Bartholomä
  1. A. R. Cole,
  2. P. T. Harris and
  3. J. B. Keene

Published Online: 14 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304138.ch14

Tidal Signatures in Modern and Ancient Sediments

Tidal Signatures in Modern and Ancient Sediments

How to Cite

Cole, A. R., Harris, P. T. and Keene, J. B. (1995) Foraminifers as Facies Indicators in a Tropical Macrotidal Environment: Torres Strait–Fly River Delta, Papua New Guinea, in Tidal Signatures in Modern and Ancient Sediments (eds B. W. Flemming and A. Bartholomä), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304138.ch14

Author Information

  1. Ocean Sciences Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia

  1. Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Antarctic CRC, University of Tasmania, GPO Box 252C, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 11 AUG 1995

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780865429789

Online ISBN: 9781444304138

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Keywords:

  • foraminifer assemblages;
  • high energy carbonate sand facies;
  • low energy muddy carbonate sand facies;
  • foraminifers as fades indicators;
  • effects of suspended load transport

Summary

Foraminifer assemblages are assessed as potential recorders of transportation and redistribution by tidal processes in tropical, tidally dominated carbonate shelf and fluvio-deltaic environments. Four facies are identified on the basis of grain-size distribution, carbonate content and energy: (i) a high energy carbonate sand facies; (ii) a low energy muddy carbonate sand facies; (iii) a transitional mixed terrigenous and carbonate sediment facies; and (iv) a terrigenous delta front facies. Up to 1300 tests were picked from nine representative samples and analysed using a computerized image analysis system. This method allowed the determination of maximum and minimum test dimensions, as well as two-dimensional shape and area, to produce a grain-size histogram of foraminifer tests for each site.

The results show that each of the four facies can be identified from the combination of foraminiferal taphonomic and grain-size properties. Furthermore, such properties identified the mode of transport (i.e. suspension versus bedload) and transport pathways at the sample locations. A small amount of carbonate material is transported landwards in suspension and deposited among the mostly (>95%) terrigenous sediments comprising the prograding Fly delta.