St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Scientists study microfossils preserved in ocean sediments to deduce past environmental conditions (Fig. 1). The types of microfossils and chemistry of microfossil shells contain information on past conditions like ocean temperature. The value of the information from these studies is determined in part by our ability to relate the occurrence of specific microfossils and their shell chemistry to modern conditions.
Researchers from the USGS office in St. Petersburg, Florida are conducting a calibration study in the northern Gulf of Mexico to establish the relationship between microfossil assemblages and their shell chemistry to modern ocean conditions. They deployed a sediment-trap mooring in the northern Gulf of Mexico to measure the flux and chemistry of planktic foraminiferal shells collected in the trap (Fig. 2). Data will be compared with concurrent hydrographic data (Fig. 3). The results will provide better calibration of standard climate proxies, leading to improved interpretation and correlation between marine and continental paleoclimate records.
Reynolds, C.E., and Poore, R.Z., 2013, Seasonal flux and assemblage composition of planktic foraminifera from the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008–11: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1158, 14 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1158/]
Poore, R.Z., Tedesco, K.A., and Spear, J.W., 2013, Seasonal Flux and Assemblage Composition of Planktic Foraminifers From a Sediment Trap Study in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, in: Brock, J.C.; Barras, J.A., and Williams, S.J. (eds.), Understanding and Predicting Change in the Coastal Ecosystems of the Northern Gulf of Mexico, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No.63, pp. 6–19, Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208. [http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2112/SI63-002.1]
Richey, J.N., Poore, R.Z., Flower, B.P., and Hollander, D.J., 2012, Ecological controls on shell geochemistry of pink and white Globigerinoides ruber in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Implications for paleoceanographic reconstruction. Marine Micropaleontology, 82-83, 28-37. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marmicro.2011.10.002]
Spear, J. W., Poore, R. Z., and Quinn, T. M., 2011, Globorotalia truncatulinoides (dextral) Mg/Ca as a proxy for Gulf of Mexico winter mixed-layer temperature: Evidence from a sediment trap in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Micropaleontology, 80, 53-61. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marmicro.2011.05.001]
Spear, J.W., Reynolds, C. E. and Poore, R.Z., 2011, Seasonal Flux and Assemblage Composition of Planktic Foraminifera from the Northern Gulf of Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2011–1215, 19p. [http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20111215]
Spear, J.W., and Poore, R.Z., 2011, Seasonal flux and assemblage composition of planktic foraminifera from the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008–2009: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1002, 17 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1002/]
Spear, J.W., and Poore, R.Z., 2010, Gulf of Mexico climate-history calibration study: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010–3044, 2 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2010/3044/].
Tedesco, K.A., Spear, J.W., Tappa, E., and Poore, R.Z., 2009, Seasonal flux and assemblage composition of planktic foraminifera from the northern Gulf of Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009–1293, 19 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1293/].