Foraminifera have been studied from more than 45 submarine cores from the Continental Slope and Shelf south of Georges Bank, near Nantucket Lightship, and south of the gorge opposite the Hudson. In most of the cores from the Continental Slope an Arctic fauna of late Pleistocene (Wisconsin) age has been identified, and this has been correlated with similar faunas reported in other cores from the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea. The significance of faunal changes in the deeper cores, where only pelagic Foraminifera are present, is examined. Faunas indicating cooler water found in such cores are considered approximate correlatives of the true Arctic faunas found in cores from the Continental Slope.
The basis for interpreting details of environment represented by stratigraphic faunal changes in the cores is discussed. Little pertinent information on the general ecology of living Foraminifera is available, and some interpretations based upon faunal changes are not necessarily valid. Studies on depth ranges of Foraminifera on the Continental Slope show that three general depth zones can be recognized, and this faunal zonation may be due to temperature control. Initial errors in collecting and sampling the cores are discussed.