Distribution of Holocene deep-sea benthonic foraminifera in the southwest Indian Ocean

Journal Article

The distribution of deep-sea benthonic foraminifera in core top samples from the southwest Indian Ocean is examined. Principal component analysis reveals two major assemblages. One assemblages between 3600 and 4800-m water depth is dominated by Episominella umbonifera and is associated with cold (θ = -0.3 to 0.8°C), low salinity (34.66 to 34.72 × 10-3) Antarctic Bottom Water in the Crozet Basin, in fracture zones, and on the flanks of the Southwest Indian Ridge. A second assemblage, dominated by Planulina wuellerstorfi, Globocassidulina subglobasa, Astrononion echolsi and Pullenia bulloides, is between 1600 and 3800 m on the Crozet Plateau, Madagascar Ridge, Central Indian Ridge, and Southwest Indian Ridge and is associated with relatively warm (θ = 0.8 to 2.6°C), high salinity (34.72 to 34.76 × 10-3) North Atlantic Deep Water. The third principal component divides the P. wuellerstorfi assemblage into two subgroups. One is dominated by Epistominella exigua, P. bulloides, P. wuellerstorfi, and A. echolsi and a second is dominated by G. subglobosa. The distribution of the E. umbonifera assemblage and previous hydrographic studies suggest that AABW flows as a western boundary contour current in the Crozet Basin and penetrates fracture zones in the Southwest Indian Ridge between 55 and 57°E and near 66°E as it travels northward into the Madagascar and Mascarene basins. The faunal-water mass associations from the southeast Indian Ocean are compared; the most notable faunal difference is the absence of Uvigerina as a dominant taxon in the southwest Indian Ocean. A comparison of dissolved oxygen and Uvigerina data shows that oxygen is not a major influence upon the distribution of Uvigerina. A correlation analysis of the faunal data and water depth, potential temperature, in situ temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and 1 - Ω, an index of calcium carbonate undersaturation, was carried out to determine the relationships between fauna and hydrography. The second principal component has a significant positive correlation at the 99.9% level with temperature and negative correlations with water depth and 1 - Ω. A general faunal-water mass correlation exists, but it is not possible to determine which variable controls the faunal distributions. © 1983.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Corliss, BH

Published Date

  • 1983

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 95 - 117

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0198-0149