This dataset includes baseline assemblage measurements from benthic foraminifera throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The dataset is a compilation of seafloor surface benthic foraminifera assemblages from sediment cores collected on multiple cruises and field sampling in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010-11-18 to 2017-05-22. The dataset contains the Gulf-wide diversity indices and the full benthic taxonomic counts for two regions: Cuba and the southern Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf-wide file contains the total density and diversity calculations using Fisher’s Alpha and Shannon indices from the surface-most sub-sample from each core (typically 0-2 mm). The Gulf-wide spreadsheet is comprised of data from the surface sub-sample taxonomic counts corresponding to the southern Gulf (data included in this dataset and under GRIIDC Unique Dataset Identifier (UDI) R4.x267.000:0114, DOI:10.7266/n7-xh2e-et70), northern Gulf of Mexico (available under GRIIDC Unique Dataset Identifier (UDI) R4.x267.179:0018, DOI:10.7266/N7CR5RDS) and Cuba (full taxonomic counts data included in this dataset).


Data and metadata is made available by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) through a CC0 license in compliance with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The original dataset landing pages may be accessed at GRIIDC’s dataset monitoring webpage.

Data users are encouraged to contact the originating investigator prior to data use and provide appropriate credit.


The purpose of this dataset was to provide Gulf of Mexico-wide baseline measurements of benthic foraminifera assemblage characteristics in advance of future oil spills. These baseline measurements can be used in the event of future oil spills as a reference to quantitatively assess impact and recovery.


benthic foraminifera, baseline, habitat suitability, sediment cores, diversity indices, Fisher's Alpha Index, Shannon Index





Point of Contact

Schwing, Patrick
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science
140 7th Ave South
St. Petersburg , FL 33701

Funding Source


Start of Data Collection

November 2010

End of Data Collection

May 2017



Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.