Ostracodes of the Piney Point formation (middle eocene) of Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Previously known only from the subsurface, the Piney Point Formation was recently discovered in outcrop along the Pamunkey River on the Virginia Coastal Plain (Ward, in ms.). The ostracode fauna of this unit is diverse and well preserved, and is here identified and described for the first time. It is composed of forty-five species of Ostracoda, twelve having been described previously, eleven having affinities to previously described species, and eight described as new. Based on correlation of the previously described species with ostracode faunas from the Gulf Coastal Plain, the age of the Piney Point Formation is middle Claibornian to middle Jacksonian, or middle middle Eocene to middle late Eocene. This shows that the Piney Point Formation is time-transgressive, because the ostracodes from the type locality are strictly middle Claibornian (Brown et al., 1972). The ostracode assemblage of the Piney Point is typical of one inhabiting warm, clear, open marine waters with a slow sedimentation rate and little reworking.