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Middle Jurassic coccolith fluxes: A novel approach by automated quantification
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
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2014 (English)In: Marine Micropaleontology, ISSN 0377-8398, E-ISSN 1872-6186, Vol. 111, 15-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Coccolithophores, major pelagic carbonate producers, underwent important changes during the latest Aalenian-Early Bajocian (ca. - 170 Ma, Middle Jurassic). Specifically, a new genus called Watznaueria diversified and started dominating the coccolith assemblages. While this change in the coccolith assemblages is already known, the impact on coccolith absolute abundances and fluxes is still misunderstood. Here we tested for the first time on Mesozoic deposits an automated counting method using the SYRACO system, and then compared these results with a classic counting method. Two neural networks were created based on the shape, birefringence and size of coccoliths, the first of which contained only one class and the second of which was composed of six classes. Based on the morphological criteria used for the neural networks, coccoliths were not identified at the species level. We quantified coccolith absolute abundances and estimated fluxes for the latest Aalenian-Early Bajocian in two well-dated and correlated sections, Cabo Mondego in Portugal and Chaudon-Norante in France. There is a strong linear correlation between classic and automatic counting (r > 0.8) supporting the latter as a reliable method for coccolith absolute abundance and flux quantification. In spite of under- or over-estimation by automatic counting with respect to classic counting, the absolute abundance stratigraphic trends are remarkably similar. Under- or over-estimation may be reduced by further technical improvements such as automatic focus. At Cabo Mondego, coccolith fluxes increased from 0.2 x 10(9) coccoliths/m(2)/yr in the latest Aalenian to 700 x 10(9) coccoliths/m(2)/yr in the middle of the Laeviuscula ammonite Zone (Early Bajocian), remaining high for the rest of the Early Bajocian. At Chaudon-Norante, a similar trend was observed. This coccolith flux increase is therefore considered to be a supra-regional event matching an important delta C-13(Bulk) (carbonate) Positive excursion. The carbon isotopic positive excursion, along with the onset of radiolarian sedimentation and coccolith fluxes is related to a gradual increase in the fertility of the oceans during the Early Bajocian and is likely associated with warmer and more humid climates and associated enhanced continental weathering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 111, 15-25 p.
Keyword [en]
Aalenian-Bajocian, SYRACO system, Coccolith absolute abundance, Coccolith flux, Coccolith production, Lusitanian Basin, French Subalpine Basin
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234175DOI: 10.1016/j.marmicro.2014.06.002ISI: 000341475400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-234175DiVA: diva2:755815
Available from: 2014-10-15 Created: 2014-10-14 Last updated: 2014-10-15Bibliographically approved

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