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Open-File Report 2006-1012

Biological, Physical, And Chemical Data From Gulf of Mexico Core PE0305-GC1

By Lisa E. Osterman¹, Peter W. Swarzenski¹ and David Hollander²

¹ U.S. Geological Survey, 600 4th St. South, St. Petersburg FL 33701
² College of Marine Sciences, University of South Florida, 140 7th Ave. South, St. Petersburg FL 33701

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This paper presents benthic foraminiferal census data, and magnetic susceptibility, 210Pb , radiocarbon, and geochemical measurements from gravity core PE0305-GC1 (=GC1). Core GC1 was collected from the Louisiana continental shelf as part of an initiative to investigate the geographic and temporal extent of hypoxia, low-oxygen water, in the Gulf of Mexico. Hypoxia (<1.4 ml/l or <2 ppm oxygen concentration) in Gulf of Mexico waters can eventually lead to death of marine species. The development of hypoxia off the Mississippi delta has increased steadily since routine and systematic measurements were begun in 1985 and has been linked to the use of fertilizer in the Mississippi basin. Benthic foraminifers provide a proxy to track the development of hypoxia prior to 1985. Previous work determined that the relative occurrence of three low-oxygen-tolerant species is highest in the hypoxia zone. The cumulative percentage of these three species (% Pseudononion atlanticum + % Epistominella vitrea, + % Buliminella morgani = PEB index of hypoxia) was used to investigate fluctuation in paleohypoxia in four cores, including the upper 60 cm of GC1. In this report, we compile all available data from GC1 as the basis for further publications.

First posted May 24, 2010

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Suggested citation:

Osterman, L.E., Swarzenski, P.W., Hollander, D., 2006, Biological, physical, and chemical data from Gulf of Mexico core PE0305-GC1: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1012, 28 p.


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