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Distribution of Foraminifera in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, over the past century

Irene J. Abbene, Stephen J. Culver, D. Reide Corbett, Martin A. Buzas and Lance S. Tully
Distribution of Foraminifera in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, over the past century
Journal of Foraminiferal Research (April 2006) 36 (2): 135-151


Foraminiferal and radionuclide data have been used to investigate environmental change that has occurred within Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, over the last century. Environmental conditions were evaluated for three time slices; (1) the modern environment as determined by surficial (0-1 cm) sediments, (2) short-core intervals representing approximately 40 years BP, as determined by (super 137) Cs activity, and (3) short-core intervals representing approximately 120 years BP, as determined by (super 210) Pb activity. Cluster analysis distinguished four foraminiferal assemblages at the surface (0-1 cm): (1) Marsh Biofacies, (2) Estuarine Biofacies A, (3) Estuarine Biofacies B, and (4) Marine Biofacies. The Marsh Biofacies is characterized by typical marsh foraminifera such as Tiphotrocha comprimata, Trochammina inflata, Miliammina fusca and Haplophragmoides wilberti. Estuarine Biofacies A is distinguished from Estuarine Biofacies B by the greater relative abundance of the agglutinated species Ammotium salsum and Ammobaculites crassus in the former and the greater relative abundance of Elphidium excavatum in the latter. The Marine Biofacies is comprised completely of calcareous foraminifera (e.g., Elphidium excavatum, Hanzawaia strattoni, Cibicides lobatulus, Elphidium subarcticum, Quinqueloculina seminula and Elphidium galvestonense) and is restricted to tidal inlets. Down-core foraminiferal data indicate that approximately 120 years BP, Pamlico Sound was dominated by Estuarine Biofacies A, which is indicative of brackish conditions. Up-core in the 40 years BP and modern time slices, Estuarine Biofacies B is the more prominent assemblage within Pamlico Sound; this is indicative of increased salinity over time. Lowered salinity conditions 120 years BP may be the result of high hurricane activity over a several year period.

ISSN: 0096-1191
EISSN: 1943-264X
Serial Title: Journal of Foraminiferal Research
Serial Volume: 36
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Distribution of Foraminifera in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, over the past century
Affiliation: East Carolina University, Department of Geology, Greenville, NC, United States
Pages: 135-151
Published: 200604
Text Language: English
Publisher: Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Ithaca, NY, United States
References: 49
Accession Number: 2006-053637
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendices
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 8 tables, sketch maps
N34°40'00" - N35°55'00", W76°42'00" - W75°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: National Museum of Natural History, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 200629
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