Authors: ALESSIO FABBRINI, LUCA MARIA FORESI
Abstract: This paper focuses on a paleoecological study conducted on planktonic foraminifera from upper Oligocene-lower Miocene deposits of the J-Anomaly Ridge (North Atlantic Ocean). Paleoclimatic studies are crucial to better comprehend how climatic changes occurred in the past and how they might influence global climate in the next few decades. Oceanic currents are the predominant vehicle for heat transport across the globe and therefore organisms living within the water mass can supply much information on paleoceanographic settings. In total, 53 samples from IODP Hole U1406A were selected in the core interval 96-24 CCSF-M to perform statistical analyses (R-mode cluster analysis, principal component analysis) to describe ecogroup distribution and a paleoclimatic curve based on shallow dwelling taxa. The species have been subdivided into three ecogroups referring to recent studies on planktonic foraminiferal paleoecology. The statistical analyses allowed a preliminary screening of the distribution of the foraminiferal assemblages in the biozonal interval of O7-M3. The ecogroup distribution curves revealed the behavior of each group along the section, highlighting the interconnection among the various habitats. Finally, the abundance of the surface taxa was used to trace a paleoclimatic curve (SDPC) describing the superficial water variations. Those results were compared with the Alkenone Sea Surface Temperature (SST) record from IODP Site U1404 and the δ18O North Atlantic stack from the literature. This comparison showed a good match among the foraminiferal and geochemical data, allowing the correlation of SDPC and SST minima with well-known glacial events of the North Atlantic Ocean. This study supports the potential of census data of planktonic foraminifera in paleoclimatic studies when geochemical data are not available.
Keywords: Planktonic foraminifera, early Miocene, North Atlantic, Newfoundland Ridge, paleoclimate, U1406
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