Abstract

Three Far East diatomites, Puzanov (Kunashir Island, Kuril Islands), Sergeevskii, and Terekhovka (Southern Primorye) are characterized in detail. Rock-forming taxa are identified (Puzanov—Aulacoseira subarctica (O. Müll.) Hawort and Stephanodiscus niagarae var. pusanovae Genkal et Cherepanova; Sergeevskii—Staurosira construens var. venter (Ehr.) Grun., Aulacoseira italica (Ehr.) Sim., and representatives of the genus Cymbella with large valves (up to 175 µm in length); Terekhovka—Aulacoseira praegranulata var. praeislandica f. praeislandica (Sim.) Moiss.). Morphometric analysis of valves of the dominant taxa showed a low variability of valve parameters for the Puzanov diatomite and a high one for the Sergeevskii and Terekhovka diatomites. The lake environments of the diatoms forming the diatomites were reconstructed based on the elemental composition of diatom valves and the ecological structure of diatom paleocommunities. The high oxygen and low silicon concentrations in valves of the Puzanov diatomite, most likely, indicate that the diatoms were part of plankton communities formed in a large deep freshwater lake. Significant concentrations of silicon in valves of the Terekhovka diatomite, in contrast, suggest that the diatoms occurred in benthic ecotopes in a shallow lake. The age of the deposits was refined by detailed studies of Aulacoseira valves, using light and scanning electron microscopes. For example, the presence of Aulacoseira taxa of the “prae” group in the Terekhovka diatomite confirms its Pliocene age, and the presence of valves of the present species A. italica in the Sergeevskii diatomite points to its Late Pliocene age. The identified features of the diatomites permit their use in practice.

You do not currently have access to this article.