Abstract

Twenty-five surface-sediment samples collected from Martel and MacKellar inlets at Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, provided foraminiferal and environmental data to determine if the foraminiferal distribution is affected by melt water from a nearby tidal glacier and other abiotic factors, such as depth, salinity, temperature, grain size, and geochemistry. The foraminiferal assemblages in the two inlets are typical of most shallow Antarctic waters in their composition, low abundance, and low species richness. They consist of species restricted to the Antarctic (e.g., Portatrochammina antarctica, Hippocrepinella hirudinea, and Hemisphaerammina bradyi) and those that are cosmopolitan (e.g., Globocassidulina biora and G. subglobosa). Martel Inlet had the richer fauna with 26 species dominated by H. hirudinea and Psammosphaera fusca. In MacKellar Inlet the species H. bradyi was notably more abundant than in Martel Inlet. Globocassidulina biora is an opportunistic species in these variable shallow-water environments, where seasonal warming results in the discharge of glacial meltwater, producing marked fluctuations in salinity and water temperature. Thus, Globocassidulina species are useful for calibrating Recent conditions of temperature and salinity that can be applied to sub-Recent paleoenvironmental reconstruction of climate change.

You do not currently have access to this article.