Paleoecology of Late Cretaceous to Paleocene Deep-Water Agglutinated Foraminifera from the North Atlantic and Western Tethys

  • Wolfgang Kuhnt
  • Michael A. Kaminski
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 327)


Paleoenvironmental distribution of Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene abyssal agglutinated foraminiferal assemblages from DSDP/ODP sites in the North Atlantic is compared to selected occurrences of deep water agglutinated foraminifers (DWAF) along the North Atlantic continental margins and the western Mediterranean. We provide an overview of the taxonomy of some important Late Cretaceous and Paleocene DWAF, based on our examination of 18 wells and outcrop sections. We use this taxonomic data base to examine geographic and biostratigraphic patterns in the diversity and faunal composition of assemblages in the North Atlantic and western Tethys. The distribution pattern of taxonomically distinct assemblages and the stratigraphic ranges of individual species are compared to varying sedimentological parameters, such as sedimentation rates and amount of terrigenous detrital input, sediment colour and TOC (total organic carbon) content, amount of calcium carbonate and biosiliceous material.

From the analyzed data we conclude that important discriminating environmental factors for the distribution of Late Cretaceous and Paleocene DWAF in the North Atlantic and its marginal basins were (1) the depositional setting of their substrate, (2) water-mass properties such as the oxygenation of bottom waters — changes of which are most probably linked to changes in surface productivity and (3) the availability of nutrients and of calcium carbonate, i.e. the relative position of each site to the fluctuating calcium carbonate compensation depth (CCD).


Late Cretaceous Benthic Foraminifera Planktonic Foraminifera Foraminiferal Assemblage Abyssal Plain 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Kuhnt
    • 1
  • Michael A. Kaminski
    • 2
  1. 1.Geologisches Institut der Universität TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.GEOMARKielGermany

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