Abstract

Substantial spatio-temporal variation in foraminiferal inputs occur over short areal distances at the sediment-water interface and downcore as a result of patchy distributions and seasonal reproduction; foraminiferal assemblages are in turn diagenetically overprinted by seasonal, inter-seasonal, and inter-annual changes in pore-water chemistry. Seasonal surface and near-surface assemblages are typically unrepresentative of deeper assemblages that are more likely to be incorporated into the sedimentary record. Cluster analysis of “artificially time-averaged” (ATA) assemblages revealed 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 may produce an apparent paleoenvironmental change that could potentially be misinterpreted as a rapid fall in sea-level over the last ~100–200 years.

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