Miocene benthic foraminiferal isotope records: A synthesis

Samuel M. Savin, Robert G. Douglas, Gerta Keller, John S. Killingley, Linda Shaughnessy, Michael A. Sommer, Edith Vincent, Fay Woodruff

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102 Scopus citations


18O 16O and 13C 12C ratios of Miocene benthic foraminifera from a number of Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean DSDP sites (71, 77B, 206, 208, 238, 279, 289, 296, 329, 357 and 366A) have been compiled. These provide a rather detailed history of Miocene deep water especially in the Pacific Ocean. Bottom-water temperatures rose during the early Miocene and then declined rapidly during the middle Miocene. This decline was accompanied by an increase in Antarctic glaciation. Late Miocene bottom temperatures and Antarctic ice volumes are inferred to be similar to today's, but exhibited some fluctuation. The early Miocene ocean was less thermally stratified at intermediate and abyssal depths while the late Miocene deep ocean had a thermal structure generally similar to the modern ocean. Foraminiferal carbon isotope ratios at most of the sites varied quasi-sympathetically throughout the Miocene. These variations must reflect comparable variations in the mean 13C 12C of marine HCO3-. However, the causes of such variations are not yet clear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-450
Number of pages28
JournalMarine Micropaleontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology


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