You are here

Calcareous Nannoplankton as Paleoceanographic and Biostratigraphic Proxies

Title: Calcareous Nannoplankton as Paleoceanographic and Biostratigraphic Proxies: Examples from the Mid-Cretaceous Equatorial Atlantic (ODP Leg 207) and Pleistocene of the Antarctic Peninsula (NBP0602A) and North Atlantic (IODP Exp. 306).
Name(s): Kulhanek, Denise Kay, author
Wise, Sherwood W., Jr., professor directing dissertation
Froelich, Philip N., Jr., outside committee member
Parker, William C., committee member
Wang, Yang, committee member
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation is a collection of three projects utilizing calcareous nannoplankton as biostratigraphic and paleoceanographic indicators. The materials studied come from three locations: 1) Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 207 (Site 1258) on Demerara Rise; 2) SHALDRIL II Cruise NBP0602A (Site 9) in the James Ross Basin, Western Weddell Sea; and 3) Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 306 (Site U1313) in the North Atlantic. After an introductory chapter, Chapter 2 details the results from Site 1258, drilled during ODP Leg 207 on Demerara Rise off the northern coast of South America. This cruise recovered organic-rich Albian sediments that contain abundant, moderately to well preserved calcareous nannofossils. Biostratigraphic analysis shows the section primarily spans Roth's (1978) middle to late Albian Zone NC9. An unconformity separates these sediments from overlying uppermost Albian laminated shales from Zone NC10. The presence of Seribiscutum primitivum within the Albian section represents the first known occurrences of this species at such low latitudes, as Demerara Rise was located within 15º of the equator during the mid-Cretaceous. This species exhibits a bipolar distribution and is considered a cool-water, high-latitude species. Its presence on Demerara Rise indicates cooler water incursions either through changes in surface circulation or upwelling conditions during the opening of the Equatorial Atlantic. Chapter 3 details the results of a study of calcareous nannofossils in clasts obtained during the SHALDRIL II NBP0602A cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula. Site NBP0602A-9, drilled during the SHALDRIL II cruise of the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer, includes two holes located in the northern James Ross Basin in the western Weddell Sea, very close to the eastern margin of the Antarctic Peninsula. Sediment from both holes consists of very dark grey, pebbly, sandy mud, grading to very dark greenish grey, pebbly, silty mud in the lower 2.5 m of the second hole. In addition to abundant pebbles found throughout the cores, both holes contain numerous sedimentary clasts. Biostratigraphic analysis of diatom assemblages from the glaciomarine muds yielded rare to few, poorly preserved diatoms that suggest the sediment is late Pleistocene in age. The sedimentary clasts, on the other hand, are nearly barren of diatoms, but contain rare, moderately to well preserved calcareous nannofossils. The clasts contain three distinct assemblages. Two clasts are assigned an early Maastrichtian age based on the presence of Biscutum magnum and Nephrolithus corystus, whereas one clast is of late Maastrichtian age based on the presence of Nephrolithus frequens. These samples also contain other characteristic Late Cretaceous species, including Biscutum notaculum, Cribrosphaerella daniae, Eiffellithus gorkae, Kamptnerius magnificus, and Prediscosphaera bukryi. Two samples contain an early Paleocene assemblage dominated by Hornibrookina teuriensis. The Maastrichtian assemblages are similar to those found in the López de Bertodano Formation on Seymour and Snow Hill Islands, making it the likely source area for the Cretaceous clast material. Although no calcareous nannofossils have been reported from Paleocene formations on these islands, the occurrence of calcareous foraminifers suggests other calcareous plankton may be present; thus, the Paleocene clasts likely also originated from the Seymour Island area. The fourth chapter presents results from a Pleistocene study of calcareous nannoplankton assemblages spanning 480-355 ka at IODP Site U1313. This site was a reoccupation of Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 607, drilled on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This location is near the region of steepest sea-surface temperature gradients during the last glacial maximum, and is also on the southern margin of the ice-rafted debris (IRD) belt, making it an ideal location to study paleoclimate. Calcareous nannoplankton assemblages from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 12-10 record changes in surface-water conditions over this interval. The assemblage is dominated by family Noelaerhabdaceae, and spans a single biostratigraphic event, the last occurrence of Pseudoemiliania, dated to 427 ka at this site. Most species indicate paleoecological preferences similar to those found in the literature, although Gephyrocapsa oceanica is more abundant during MIS 12, even though it is thought to prefer warmer waters. Similarly, Helicosphaera, another warm-water taxon, is also more abundant during MIS 12. Both prefer higher nutrient conditions that occur during the glacial stage. The first factor of a CABFAC factor analysis explained nearly 92% of the variability in the assemblage. This factor is dominated by G. oceanica, and the varimax factor scores correlate well with the alkenone-based temperature record, suggesting that the distribution of G. oceanica at Site U1313 is controlled by temperature. The N ratio, based on the ratio of lower photic zone dweller Florisphaera profunda to upwelling indicators, shows deep stratification during much of MIS 12, usually associated with an increase in IRD and freshwater proxies indicating the presence of icebergs in the area. Finally, most productivity indicators suggest higher productivity during MIS 12, in contrast to the nannofossil accumulation rate (NAR), which was lower during that time. Other phytoplankton groups may have increased productivity during MIS 12, although further work is needed to explain why the abundance of alkenones indicates higher productivity in the calcareous nannoplankton when the NAR does not.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2965 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Geological Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2009.
Date of Defense: August 6, 2009.
Keywords: Calcareous Nannoplankton, Calcareous Nannofossil, ODP Leg, 207 Site 1258, IODP Expedition 306, Site U1313, MIS 11, MIS 12, Albian, NBP0602A, SHALDRIL, Biostratigraphy, Paleoceanography
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Sherwood W. Wise, Jr., Professor Directing Dissertation; Philip N. Froelich, Jr., Outside Committee Member; William C. Parker, Committee Member; Yang Wang, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Earth sciences
Persistent Link to This Record:
Use and Reproduction: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Kulhanek, D. K. (2009). Calcareous Nannoplankton as Paleoceanographic and Biostratigraphic Proxies: Examples from the Mid-Cretaceous Equatorial Atlantic (ODP Leg 207) and Pleistocene of the Antarctic Peninsula (NBP0602A) and North Atlantic (IODP Exp. 306). Retrieved from