A planktic foraminiferal mass extinction, coeval with the major carbon cycle perturbation of Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE) 1b, occurred at the Aptian−Albian boundary interval (AABI). However, the scarcity of high-resolution records across the AABI hampers an assessment of the impacts of OAE 1b on deep-water benthic foraminiferal assemblages. Here we present high-resolution benthic foraminiferal census counts at Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 511 (southern South Atlantic Ocean) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1049 (western subtropical North Atlantic Ocean) over the AABI. Our records at these bathyal sites provide conclusive evidence that there was no benthic foraminiferal extinction at the Aptian−Albian boundary, although marked reorganizations of relative abundances occurred. During the latest Aptian, cyclic increases in the abundance of infaunal species at both sites point to repeated pulses of reduced bottom water oxygenation and increased organic carbon flux to the ocean floor. Additionally, agglutinated and weakly calcified benthic foraminiferal species were relatively abundant during the latest Aptian, suggesting deep-water carbonate ion depletion in the Atlantic Ocean, although we did not identify signs of carbonate dissolution at these relatively shallow sites. At Site 511, abundances of infaunal foraminifera increased in tandem with the negative carbonate carbon isotope (δ13Ccarb) excursion of the Kilian sub-event within OAE 1b, suggesting decreased bottom water ventilation and increased organic carbon flux to the ocean floor during the sub-event. Bottom water ventilation and carbonate ion saturation improved during the earliest Albian in the Atlantic Ocean, followed by high-amplitude oscillations, as suggested by abundance trends of heavily calcified epifaunal foraminifera at Sites 511 and 1049.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.