Changes in oxygen concentrations at the sediment-water interface play a major role in controlling benthic foraminiferal assemblages and morphologic characteristics; such changes are reflected in size, wall thickness, porosity, and also taxa (genera and species) of foraminifera present. These morphologic and taxonomic differences have been quantified as a dissolved-oxygen index. This paper demonstrates that the foraminiferal oxygen index derived from bathyal and abyssal Holocene faunas correlates well with the dissolved-oxygen levels in overlying waters. This index is then used for paleoenvironmental interpretations.

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