Abstract

The Maastrichtian–Danian benthic foraminiferal diversity and assemblages through sequence stratigraphy were studied at Dakhla Oasis, Egypt. Benthic foraminifera numbers (BFN), high-flux species and characteristic benthic foraminiferal species and genera distribution are also incorporated to assess palaeobathymetry, palaeoenvironment and palaeoproductivity. All these proxies are then taken together to construct a sea-level curve and interpreted in terms of regional tectonics, climate and eustasy. Data suggest a remarkably highly equitable benthic environment deposited in a brackish littoral and/or marsh setting with moderate (?) to low oxygen conditions and reduced salinity (oligotrophic), possibly due to increased precipitation and terrestrial runoff. The interrupted dominance of calcareous forms and high-organic-flux species suggests occasional marine incursions and high palaeoproductivity, due to local upwelling. The inferred sea-level curve replicates the global eustatic curve and suggests that the curve is more influenced by the prevailing climate and global eustasy rather than by regional tectonics. The post-Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary displays improvement in the environment in terms of diversity and number of species and specimens, with a marked reduction in the abundance of high-organic-flux species during early Paleocene (Danian) time, indicating a shift from a more mesotrophic open marine environment to much reduced oligotrophic conditions.

You do not currently have access to this article.