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TitleTaphonomy of tidal marsh foraminifera: implications of surface sample thickness for high-resolution sea-level studies
AuthorPatterson, R T; Guilbault, J -P; Clague, J J
SourceTaphonomy as a tool in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and environmental assessment; by Martin, R E (ed.); Patterson, R T (ed.); Goldstein, S T (ed.); Kumar, A (ed.); Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology vol. 149, issue 1-4, 1999 p. 199-211,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 1997194
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®)
ProvinceBritish Columbia
AreaZeballos; Nanaimo; Vancouver
Lat/Long WENS-127.0000 -126.5000 50.0000 49.7500
Subjectspaleontology; sedimentology; sea level changes; sea level fluctuations; paleo-sea levels; marshes; marsh deposits; microfossils; earthquakes; earthquake studies
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; graphs
ProgramNSERC Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
AbstractPrevious research has shown that intertidal foraminiferal faunas can be used to document Holocene relative sea-level change and large prehistoric earthquakes. Applications like these, however, require an understanding of the impact of infaunal habitat and taphonomic processes on foraminiferal assemblages. To evaluate these effects, we analyzed surface sediment samples collected along a transect across a tidal marsh at Zeballos on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Samples of the uppermost 10 cm of sediment in the marsh contain foraminiferal assemblages that permit recognition of a greater number of elevation-controlled marsh assemblages than samples of the top centimeter, which are generally used in sea-level studies. This is because the upper 10 cm contain most infaunal foraminifera species, whereas the top centimeter commonly lacks some of these species. A 10-cm thickness is somewhat arbitrary, but most foraminiferal taphonomic biasing occurs in the top 10 cm of the marsh.