Foraminifera as sea-level indicators
- 264 Downloads
There are over 1000 foraminiferal species presently living in marine environments, but relatively few of these can be used as direct indicators of sea level. We detail here certain assemblages occupying marsh environments that can be used for that purpose. Marsh foraminiferal assemblages have been shown to occur worldwide within narrowly defined vertical zones some of which extend less than 10 cm in total vertical range. These assemblage zones, once known, can be relocated in paleo-marsh deposits and accurately related to paleo-sea level. The key to success of these organisms as sea-level indicators is that their primary controlling factor appears to be elevation above mean sea level.
Other foraminiferal assemblages are controlled by a series of parameters (eg. salinity, temperature, dissolved O2, etc.) which often have no direct relationship with actual water depth. Under appropriate circumstances, some information concerning sea level can be derived from other foraminiferal assemblages using indirect means. For instance areas which have undergone substantial emergence often contain small basins which, prior to emergence, were marine. The marine sediments at the bottom can be identified using foraminifera and the sill elevation of the basin can then be related to some prior sea-level stand.
Both these methods have imperfections, but in areas where both emergence and submergence have taken place they can be combined to obtain a relatively complete sea-level history.
KeywordsNova Scotia Drill Hole Foraminiferal Assemblage Vertical Range Marsh Environment
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Alhonen, P., Eronen, M., Salomaa, R. & Uusinoka, R., 1978. A contribution to Holocene shore displacement and environmental development in Vantaa, south Finland: the stratigraphy of Lake Lammasl&i. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Finland, 50, 69–79Google Scholar
- Buzas, M.A., 1965. Foraminifera from the late Pleistocene clay near Waterville, Maine. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 145 (8), 30 ppGoogle Scholar
- Chapman, V.J., 1960. Salt marshes and salt deserts of the world. ( Leonard Hill LTP, London )Google Scholar
- Chapman, V.J., 1976. Coastal vegetation. ( second edition; Pergamon Press, Toronto )Google Scholar
- DeCloitre, L., 1953. Recherches sur les Rhizopodes thecamoebiens D’A.O.F. Memoires de l’Institut Francais d’Afrique noire, 31, I fan Dakar, 59–74Google Scholar
- Deonarine, B., 1979. Foraminiferal distribution in two Nova Scotia marshes. Maritime Sediments, 15 (2), 35–46Google Scholar
- Ellison, R.L. & Nichols, M.M., 1976. Modern and Holocene foraminifera in the Chesapeake Bay Region: 1st Int. Symposium on Benthonic Foraminifera of the Continental Margins. Part A. Ecology and Biology. Marine Sediments, Special Publication, 1, 131–151Google Scholar
- Haynes, J.R., 1981. Foraminifera. ( John Wiley and Sons, New York )Google Scholar
- Loeblich, A.R. Jr. & Tappan, H., 1964. Sacordina chiefly ‘Thecamoebians’ and Foraminiferida. In: Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, ed. R.C. Moore, part C, 1 and 2, Kansas University PressGoogle Scholar
- Lutze, G.F., 1965. Zur Foraminiferen-Fauna der Ostsee. Meyniana, 15, 75–142Google Scholar
- Lutze, G.F., 1968. Jahresgang der Foraminiferen-Fauna in der Bottsand-Lagune (westliche Ostsee). Meyniana, 18, 13–30Google Scholar
- Lutze, G.F., 1974. Foraminiferen der Kieler Bucht (westliche Ostsee). 1. ‘Hausgartengebeit’ des Sonderforschungbereiches 95 der Universität Kiel. Meyniana, 26, 9–22Google Scholar
- Medioli, F.S. & Scott, D.B., 1983. Modern and early Holocene Arcellacea (Thecamoebians) from eastern Canda. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication no. 21Google Scholar
- Murray, J.W., 1973. Distribution and ecology of living benthic foraminiferids. (Crane, Russak & Co., New York )Google Scholar
- Palmer, A.J.M. & Abbott, W.H. (this volume). Diatoms as indicators of sea-level change.Google Scholar
- Phleger, F. B, 1960. Ecology and distribution of recent Foraminifera. ( Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore )Google Scholar
- Phleger, F. B, 1966. Patterns of living marsh foraminifera in south Texas coastal lagoons. Boletin Sociedad Geologica, Mexicana, 28 (1), 1–44Google Scholar
- Phleger, F. B, 1967. Marsh foraminiferal patterns, Pacific coast of North America. Anales Instituto de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 38, Serie Ciencas del Mar y Limnologia, 1, 11–38Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B., 1976a. Quantitative studies of marsh foraminiferal patterns in southern California and their application to Holocene stratigraphic problems. 1st Int. Symposium on Benthonic Foraminifera of Continental Margins. Part A, Ecology and Biology. Maritime Sediments, Special Publication, 1, 153–170Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B., 1980. Morphological changes in an estuary: a historical and stratigraphic comparison. In: The Coastline of Canada, ed. S.B. McCann, Geological Survey of Canada paper 80–10, 199–205Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B., Piper, D.J.W. & Panagos, A.G., 1979. Recent salt-marsh and intertidal mudflat Foraminifera from the western coast of Greece. Rivista italiana Paleontologia, 85 (1), 243–266Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B. & Medioli, F.S., 1980a. Quantitative studies of marsh foraminiferal distributions in Nova Scotia: implications for sea-level studies. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication no. 17Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B. & Medioli, F.S., 1980b. Living vs. total foramini.feral populations: their relative usefulness in paleoecology. Journal of Paleontology, 54, 814–831Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B. & Medioli, F.S., 1980c. Post-glacial emergence curves in the Maritimes determined from marine sediments in raised basins. Canadian Coastal Conference 1980. Proceedings, publ. by Canadian National Engineering and Science Research Council, 428–446Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B., Williamson, M.A. & Duffett, T.E., 1981. Marsh Foraminifera of Prince Edward Island: their recent distribution and application for former sea-level studies. Maritime Sediments and Atlantic Geology, 17, 98–124Google Scholar
- Scott, D.B. & Martini, I.P., 1982. Marsh Foraminifera zonations in western James and Hudson Bays. Le Naturaliste Canadien (Review of Ecological Systems), 109, 399–414Google Scholar