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Taphonomy and Artificial Time-Averaging of Marsh Foraminiferal Assemblages (Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Smyrna, Delaware, U.S.A.): Implications for Rates and Magnitudes of Late Holocene Sea-Level Change

By
Ronald E. Martin
Ronald E. Martin
Department of Geology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, U.S.A.
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Scott P. Hippensteel
Scott P. Hippensteel
Department of Geology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, U.S.A.
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Daria Nikitina
Daria Nikitina
Department of Geology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, U.S.A.
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James E. Pizzuto
James E. Pizzuto
Department of Geology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2003

Abstract

Foraminiferal assemblages of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Smyrna, Delaware, U.S.A.) exhibit substantial variation in spatio-temporal test inputs to marsh sediment and are strongly overprinted by seasonal changes in porewater chemistry. Seasonal surface and near-surface samples are typically not representative of foraminiferal inputs at depth (60 cm). Long-term ecological signals are detected using artificially time-averaged (ATA) assemblages, in which dead and live counts of foraminifera are summed separately for an entire two-year sampling period. Unlike seasonal assemblages, cluster analysis of ATA assemblages reveals a distinct change in assemblages at ∼ 20 cm depth. Differential preservation of foraminifera in the upper 60 cm—and especially the upper 20 cm—of sediment mimics a sharp paleoenvironmental change that could potentially be interpreted as a rapid fall in sea level during a time of documented transgression over the last ∼ 100–200 years.

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SEPM Special Publication

Micropaleontologic Proxies for Sea-Level Change and Stratigraphic Discontinuities

Hilary Clement Olson
Hilary Clement Olson
Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas, 4412 Spicewood Springs Rd., Bldg. 600, Austin, Texas 78759-8500, U.S.A.
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R. Mark Leckie
R. Mark Leckie
Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, 611 N. Pleasant St., Amherst Massachusetts 01003, U.S.A.
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
75
ISBN electronic:
9781565762121
Publication date:
January 01, 2003

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