Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Kirkland, Brenda L.

Committee Member

Skarke, Adam

Committee Member

Schmitz, Darrel

Committee Member

Heydari, Ezat

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The Jurassic (Oxfordian) Smackover Formation in Little Cedar Creek Field, Alabama is composed of microbial thrombolitic buildups. Core description, petrography, SEM, and isotopic analysis were used to identify the succession of organisms, microbial carbonate deposition, and diagenesis that contributed to formation of these thrombolitic buildups. The microbial thrombolite reef facies in this study accounts for 38.5% of the total Smackover Formation. This facies was deposited 0.5 to 6.75 miles from the paleo-coastline. Today it is located 10,225 to 11,750 feet in the subsurface and contains buildups 26 to 50 feet thick. Four microfacies were defined: A- Black Renalcis-like layers, B- Digitate, C- Chaotic and D- Brown laminated centimeter-scale cycles. In most of the buildup, distinct layers of microbially precipitated micrite forms in succession. Microfacies A (Black Renalcis-like Layer) is the relatively least porous and permeable, acting as a potential barrier to flow in contrast to the other more porous microfacies.