Depth distribution of Recent deep-sea benthic Foraminifera east of New Zealand, and their potential for improving paleobathymetric assessments of Neogene microfaunas

Author(s): Hayward, B. W.; Carter, R.; Grenfell, H. R.; Hayward, J. J.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University of Auckland, Department of Geology, Auckland, New Zealand
Volume Title: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics
Source: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 44(4), p.555-587. Publisher: Royal Society of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand. ISSN: 0028-8306 CODEN: NEZOAY
Note: In English. Includes 2 appendices. 134 refs.; 6 tables
Summary: Paleobathymetric assessments of fossil foraminiferal faunas play a significant role in the analysis of the paleogeographic, sedimentary, and tectonic histories of New Zealand's Neogene marine sedimentary basins. At depths 100 m, these assessments often have large uncertainties. This study, aimed at improving the precision of paleodepth assessments, documents the present-day distribution of deep-sea foraminifera (63 micro-m) in 66 samples of seafloor sediment at 90-4700 m water depth (outer shelf to mid-abyssal), east of New Zealand. One hundred and thirty-nine of the 465 recorded species of benthic foraminifera are new records for the New Zealand region. Characters of the foraminiferal faunas which appear to provide the most useful information for estimating paleobathymetry are, in decreasing order of reliability: relative abundance of common benthic species; benthic species associations; upper depth limits of key benthic species; and relative abundance of planktic foraminifera. R-mode cluster analysis on the quantitative census data of the 58 most abundant species of benthic foraminifera produced six species associations within three higher level clusters: (1) calcareous species most abundant at mid-bathyal to outer shelf depths (1000 m); (2) calcareous species most abundant at mid-bathyal and greater depths (600 m); (3) agglutinated species mostly occurring at deep abyssal depths (3000 m). A detrended correspondence analysis ordination plot exhibits a strong relationship between these species associations and bathymetry. This is manifest in the bathymetric ranges of the relative abundance peaks of many of the common benthic species (e.g., Abditodentrix pseudothalmanni 500-2800 m, Bolivina robusta 200-650 m, Bulimina marginata f. marginata 20-600 m, B. marginata f. aculeata 400-3000 m, Cassidulina norvangi 1000-4500 m, Epistominella exigua 1000-4700 m, and Trifarina angulosa 10-650 m), which should prove useful in paleobathymetric estimates. The upper depth limits of 28 benthic foraminiferal species (e.g., Fursenkoina complanata 200 m, Bulimina truncana 450 m, Melonis affinis 550 m, Eggerella bradyi 750 m, and Cassidulina norvangi 1000 m) have potential to improve the precision of paleobathymetric estimates based initially on the total faunal composition. The planktic percentage of foraminiferal tests increases from outer shelf to upper abyssal depths followed by a rapid decline within the foraminiferal lysocline (below c. 3600 m). A planktic percentage 50% is suggestive of shelf depths, and 50% is suggestive of bathyal or abyssal depths above the CCD. In the abyssal zone there is dramatic taphonomic loss of most agglutinated tests (except some textulariids) at burial depths of 0.1-0.2 m, which negates the potential usefulness of these taxa in paleobathymetric assessments.
Year of Publication: 2001
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Australasia; Benthic taxa; Bounty Trough; Cenozoic; Chatham Rise; Depth; Foraminifera; Hikurangi Plateau; Holocene; Invertebrata; Leg 181; Marine environment; Microfossils; Microorganisms; Modern analogs; Neogene; New Zealand; Ocean Drilling Program; Pacific Ocean; Paleobathymetry; Protista; Quaternary; South Pacific; Southwest Pacific; Species diversity; Tertiary; West Pacific
Record ID: 2004064671
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS Science), Lower Hutt, New Zealand

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