Paleo-oceanography of the Gulf of California based on silicoflagellates from marine varved sediments Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1v53k103n

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  • Plankton and surface sediment samples from the Gulf of California were analyzed to determine the present geographic distribution of silicoflagellate species in this area. Variations in the composition of the silicoflagellate assemblage are related to water mass distributions. Seven species and three forms were identified in these samples. Octactis pulchra is associated with high levels of primary productivity in the surface waters and is found in greatest abundance in the central Gulf of California. Dictyocha messanensis dominates the silicoflagellate assemblage in stations outside the Gulf of California and increases in relative abundance with decreasing amounts of 0. pulchra. D. calida and D. spec. 1 forms are associated with equatorial waters and have the highest relative abundance near the mouth of the Gulf. D. epiodon and Distephanus speculum are associated with cold California Current Water and Dictyocha epiodon is present in minor abundance in Gulf samples. D. spec. 2 has a patchy distribution with low relative abundance in these samples. Downcore sediment samples were analyzed from six locations in the southern Gulf of California. The results suggest that major variations in the relative composition of the silicoflagellate assemblage have not occurred over the past 1000 years. Sediment material obtained from the basin slopes in the central Gulf of California exhibit alternating light and dark laminations. A laminae couplet equals one year of deposition. The composition of the silicoflagellate assemblage was determined in one hundred twenty individual laminae samples from the top section of a box core from the central Gulf. There is no indication of a characteristic assemblage composition associated with either light or dark laminations in these samples. A high relative abundance of 0. pulchra is present in the well laminated sections of the core. D. spec. 1, D. epiodon, D. calida, and D. spec. 2 are periodically in great abundance spanning more than one laminae sample. Variations in the relative abundance of silicoflagellate species in the central Gulf of California during the last 38,000 years were determined from DSDP Leg 64 Site 480 samples. The results indicate that 0. pulchra was in lower relative abundance and Distephanus speculum, Dictyocha epiodon, and D. spec. 1 forms were in greater abundance during the glacial period compared to the present. This suggests that there was a decrease in primary production, an increase in Pacific water influence, and a decrease in surface water temperatures in the central Gulf of California during the last major glacial interval compared to the present conditions.
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