Cenozoic planktonic foraminifera of the Falkland Plateau and Argentine Basin
2019-11-22T19:39:57Z (GMT) by
Sites 511 and 512 (Falkland Plateau) and 513 (Argentine Basin) penetrated calcareous-siliceous oozes of the middle and upper Eocene and lower Oligocene with rather numerous planktonic foraminifers. Upper Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, and Quaternary sections are composed mostly of siliceous sediments (Sites 511-514) where planktonic foraminifers are rare or absent. High-latitude planktonic foraminifers of the Austral Province are characterized by impoverished assemblages - only representatives of Globigerina, Globigerinita, Globorotaloides, and Globorotalia with a rounded peripheral margin are found. In the Paleogene, these species are supplemented, in lesser amounts, by representatives of Globigerapsis, Acarinina, Pseudogloboquadrina, Pseudohastigerina, and Chiloguembelina. Assemblages of planktonic foraminifers have low stratigraphic resolution, especially in the upper Oligocene-Quaternary. This reflects the generally deteriorating Cenozoic climate, which evinced a sharp change in the upper Oligocene that is connected with initiation of the circum-Antarctic current near the Paleogene/Neogene boundary. Comparison of Paleogene and Neogene planktonic foraminifers of the South Atlantic (Falkland Plateau, Argentine Basin, 46-51°S) and the North Atlantic (Rockall Plateau, 55-56°N) indicates that the South Atlantic climate was much colder than that of the same latitudes of the North Atlantic. Paleogene oozes of the Falkland Plateau rest unconf ormably on Maestrichtian sediments and in their turn are overlain unconformably by Neogene-Quaternary oozes. Cenozoic sections are stratigraphically discontinuous: periods of intensive biogenic sedimentation resulting in a thick succession of sediments alternated with periods of nondeposition and strong erosion that resulted in hiatuses and unconformities. In the Argentine Basin, Oligocene calcareous-siliceous oozes rest on basalts of the oceanic basement; they are replaced upward in the section by Neogene-Quaternary siliceous oozes with some hiatuses. Planktonic foraminifers here clearly demonstrate the processes of oceanic subsidence and CCD fluctuations as well as Polar Front migrations during Cenozoic time. Fifty species of planktonic foraminifers are discussed and illustrated.