Late pleistocene paleoclimatology: Planktonic foraminiferal analyses of sediment cores from the central North Atlantic
Planktonic foraminiferal analyses of six deep-sea sediment cores from the central North Atlantic east of the Azores Islands between 37°N and 40°N show distinct oscillations in planktonic foramineferal assemblages during the last 300,000 years. A paleoclimatic curve has been constructed using "Total Fauna Analysis" that reveals three glacial and four interglacial episodes. Relatively minor climatic oscillations are superimposed upon the major glacial-interglacial episodes. The paleoclimatic curve is similar to previous paleoclimatic curves from the Atlantic and adjacent areas. Minor paleoclimatic fluctuations are more distinct in paleoclimatic curves from high latitudes of the Atlantic. The faunal assemblages are transitional between subarctic and subtropical assemblages. During portions of the interglacial episodes, the assemblage is dominated by Globorotalia inflata. Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (dextral-coiling) or Globigerina bulloides dominate during the remainder of the interglacial episodes and during the glacial episodes. Glacial episodes are also marked by particularly high frequencies of Globigerina quinqueloba and Globorotalia scitula. Interglacial episodes are also marked by increases in Globorotalia truncatulinoides, Globigerinoides ruber, and Globigerinella aequilateralis. The planktonic foraminiferal faunal oscillations in the cores are complex and cannot be entirely explained by temperature variation. Other parameters such as salinity, nutrients and biological competitin must influence the faunal oscillations. The faunas suggest no major planktonic foraminiferal faunal boundaries migrated across the area between 37°N and 40°N in the central North Atlantic during the last 300,000 years. © 1975.
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