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Open-File Report 2011–1215

Seasonal Flux and Assemblage Composition of Planktic Foraminifera from the Northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008–2010

By Jessica W. Spear, Caitlin E. Reynolds, and Richard Z. Poore

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The U.S. Geological Survey anchored a sediment trap in the northern Gulf of Mexico to collect seasonal time-series data on the flux and assemblage composition of live planktic foraminifers. This report provides an update of the previous time-series data to include results from 2010. Ten species, or varieties, of planktic foraminifers constituted ~90 percent of the assemblage: Globigerinoides ruber (pink and white varieties), Gs. sacculifer, Globigerina calida, Globigerinella aequilateralis, Globorotalia menardii group, Gt. truncatulinoides, Pulleniatina spp., Orbulina universa, and Neogloboquadrina dutertrei. The mean daily flux was 219 tests per square meter per day (m-2 day-1), with maximum fluxes of >600 tests m-2 day-1 during late December and minimum fluxes of <40 tests m-2 day-1 during late August. Globorotalia truncatulinoides showed a clear preference for the winter, consistent with data from 2008 and 2009. Globigerinoides ruber (white variety) flux data for 2010 (average 29 tests m-2 day-1) showed a steady increase of about a factor of 3 since 2009 (average 11 tests m-2 day-1), and an almost 10-fold increase from the 2008 flux (average 3 tests m-2 day-1). The progressive increase in flux resulted in a relatively large increase in percent abundance of total assemblage from 2008 (1.5 percent) to 2010 (12.4 percent). In addition, though Gs. ruber (white) percent abundance increased from 4.9 percent in 2009 to over 12 percent in 2010, it continued to occur in lower abundance than the 20–30 percent indicated by dead-assemblage records from nearby sediments.

First posted September 6, 2011

  • Report PDF (900 KB)
  • Table 1. Planktic foraminiferal flux and percent contribution to the total assemblage for the 14 most common species, northern Gulf of Mexico: PDF format (290 KB) | Tab-delimited file (186 KB)
  • Metadata (18 KB text file)

For additional information contact:
Caitlin E. Reynolds
U.S. Geological Survey
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Spear, J.W, Reynolds, C.E.., and Poore, R.Z., 2011, Seasonal flux and assemblage composition of planktic foraminifera from the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008–2010: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1215, 19 p.




Regional Setting

Materials and Methods

Results from 2010




References Cited

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