PALEOECOLOGY, BIOSTRATIGRAPHY, AND RESPONSE OF CALCAREOUS NANNOPLANKTON COMMUNITIES TO CLIMATE FLUCTUATIONS DURING THE LATE OLIGOCENE IN THE TROPICS
Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The earliest Oligocene is considered the time that the Cenozoic icehouse world was initiated when the Antarctic continental ice sheet first reached sea level. Subsequently during the Oligocene, climate then fluctuated between glacial (Oi) and warming events as recorded by stable isotopes. Relatively little is known about the paleoecological response of calcareous nannoplankton at low latitudes during these climate deteriorations. Here we investigate the biotic response along with the stable-isotope (δ18O and δ13C) record and multivariate analyses from four ODP and IODP sites cored in three oceans along the tropical belt through strata 24-30 Ma in age. Within this time frame, two major climatic shifts occurred, the Oi-2b glacial event and the Late Oligocene Warming Event (LOWE). During the Oi-events (26.5-30 Ma) temperate-water taxa associated with eutrophic taxa dominated the overall assemblage, suggesting that relatively cooler water rich in nutrients invaded the tropical region. In contrast, during the LOWE (24-26.5 Ma), a major turnover between temperate-water taxa and warm-water taxa occurred when the surface waters became warm and oligotrophic in nature. Additionally, several increases in both abundance and size were recorded through the upper Oligocene including increased abundance in Sphenolithus predistentus, a major biostratigraphic marker in the upper Oligocene, and increased size in S. moriformis. Moreover, a new additional major biostratigraphic event in the upper Oligocene was recorded; Calcidiscus backmanii shows a very short range at low latitudes. These paleoecological responses can be utilized to construct a detailed global late Oligocene biostratigraphy throughout the tropics.