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Late Pleistocene and Holocene Planktonic Foraminifera from the Red Sea

  • W. A. Berggren
  • Anne Boersma

Abstract

Late Pleistocene and Holocene climatic fluctuations in the Red Sea are reflected in distributional patterns among planktonic foraminifera studied in 20 deep sea cores. Fluctuating percentages in two species, Globigerinoides ruber and G. sacculifer, have allowed the recognition of four biostratigraphic assemblage zones spanning the past 80,000 years. The youngest Zone, A, corresponds to the Holocene (base dated at ca. 11,000 years B.P.) is characterized by the dominance of Globigerinoides sacculifer, and represents the establishment of a normal Indian Ocean fauna following the Würm glaciation.

Fluctuations in the percentages of various species are related to salinity and temperature variations during this interval which are, in turn, related to glacio-eustatic movements of sea level and Late Pleistocene glaciation of the northern latitudes. Tectonic movements about 17,000 years B.P. may have played a role in relative changes of sea level during the latest phase of the Würm glaciation.

Globigerinoides ruber appears to be able to withstand extremely high salinity values better than any other tropical-subtropical species. The relationship between G. sacculifer and G. ruber may provide a useful tool in paleoecologic investigations in tropical regions which have undergone periodic isolation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. Berggren
    • 1
  • Anne Boersma
    • 2
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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