University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG) > Benthic foraminiferal assemblages as proxies of paleoceanographic changes across Pleistocene glacial terminations in the NE Atlantic

Benthic foraminiferal assemblages as proxies of paleoceanographic changes across Pleistocene glacial terminations in the NE Atlantic

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The study of fossil foraminifera goes back to the early 19th century, making them one of the best studied microfossil groups. More recently, our increasing understanding of their distribution and ecological requirements in the present-day oceans has made the quantitative evaluation of foraminiferal assemblages a powerful means of actualistic paleoenvironmental reconstruction. In this paper I present examples for the application of benthic foraminiferal assemblages from IODP Site U1385 (“Shackleton Site”) as proxies of paleoceanographic Change in the Pleistocene NE Atlantic. A brief introduction to the present-day distribution of benthic foraminifera in the area and the relation to the oceanographic setting is followed by an evaluation of differences between the present-day situation and major glacial/interglacial transitions. The presentation is wrapped up by a discussion of the implications of observed turnovers in the benthic foraminiferal fauna for changes of sea-water properties at the water/sediment interface during these rapid climatic transitions.

This talk is part of the Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG) series.

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