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Chaisson, William P (1995): Planktonic foraminifera in the trans-tropical Pacific Ocean. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Chaisson, WP (1995): Planktonic foraminiferal assemblages and paleoceanographic change in the trans-tropical Pacific Ocean: A comparison of West (Leg 130) and East (Leg 138), latest Miocene to Pleistocene. In: Pisias, NG; Mayer, LA; Janecek, TR; Palmer-Julson, A; van Andel, TH (eds.), Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), 138, 555-597,

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Cores from four Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) sites were examined for planktonic foraminifers. One sample per core (from core-catchers in Holes 806B and 807B and from Section 4 in Holes 847B and 852B) was examined through the interval representing the last 5.8 m.y. Sites 806 (0°19.1'N; 159°21.7'E) and 847 (0o12.1'N; 95°19.2'W) are beneath the equatorial divergence zone. Sites 807 (3°36.4'N; 156°37.5'E) and 852 (5°19.6'N; 110°4.6'W) are located north of the equator in the convergence zone created by the interaction of the westward-flowing South Equatorial Current (SEC) and the eastward-flowing North Equatorial Countercurrent (NECC). Specimens were identified to species and then grouped according to depth habitat and trophic level. Species richness and diversity were also calculated.
Tropical neogloboquadrinids have been more abundant in the eastern than in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean throughout the last 5.8 m.y. During the mid-Pliocene (3.8-3.2 Ma), their abundance increased at all sites, while during the Pleistocene (after ~ 1.6 Ma), they expanded in the east and declined in the west. This suggests an increase in surface-water productivity across the Pacific Ocean during the closing of the Central American seaway and an exacerbation of the productivity asymmetry between the eastern and western equatorial regions during the Pleistocene. This faunal evidence agrees with eolian grain-size data (Hovan, 1995) and diatom flux data (Iwai, this volume), which suggest increases in tradewind strength in the eastern equatorial Pacific that centered around 3.5 and 0.5 Ma.
The present longitudinal zonation of thermocline dwelling species, a response to the piling of warm surface water in the western equatorial region of the Pacific, seems to have developed after 2.4 Ma, not directly after the closing of the Panama seaway (3.2 Ma). Apparently, after 2.4 Ma, the piling warm water in the west overwhelmed the upwelling of nutrients into the photic zone in that region, creating the Oceanographic asymmetry that exists in the modern tropical Pacific and is reflected in the microfossil record.
In the upper Miocene and lower Pliocene sediments, the ratio of thermocline-dwelling species to mixed-layer dwellers is 60%:40%. During the mid-Pliocene, the western sites became 40% thermocline and 60% mixed-layer dwellers. Subsequent to -2.4 Ma, the asymmetry increased to 20%: 80% in the west and the reverse in the east. This documents the gradual thickening of the warm-water layer piled up in the western tropical Pacific over the last 5.8 m.y. and reveals two "steps" in the biotic trend that can be associated with specific events in the physical environment.
Median Latitude: 2.352868 * Median Longitude: -152.352690 * South-bound Latitude: 0.193210 * West-bound Longitude: 156.625000 * North-bound Latitude: 5.292760 * East-bound Longitude: -95.320450
Date/Time Start: 1990-02-18T21:00:00 * Date/Time End: 1991-06-23T00:40:00
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