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Open-File Report 2013–1243

Seasonal Flux and Assemblage Composition of Planktic Foraminifera from the Northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008–2012

By Caitlin E. Reynolds, Julie N. Richey, and Richard Z. Poore

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The U.S. Geological Survey anchored a sediment trap in the northern Gulf of Mexico beginning in 2008 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 2012. Ten species, or varieties, constituted ~92 percent of the 2012 assemblage: Globigerinoides ruber (pink and white varieties), Globigerinoides sacculifer, Globigerina calida, Globigerinella aequilateralis, Globorotalia menardii group [The Gt. menardii group includes Gt. menardii, Gt. tumida, and Gt. ungulata], Orbulina universa, Globorotalia truncatulinoides, Pulleniatina spp., and Neogloboquadrina dutertrei. The mean daily flux was 158 tests per square meter per day (m–2 day–1), with maximum fluxes of >450tests m–2 day–1 during the beginning of July and mid–August and minimum fluxes of <10 tests m–2 day–1 during the beginning of February and mid–July. Globorotalia truncatulinoides showed a clear preference for the winter, consistent with data from 2008 to 2011. Globigerinoides ruber (white) flux data for 2012 (average 23 tests m–2 day–1) were consistent with data from 2011 (average 30 tests m–2 day–1) and 2010 (average 29 tests m–2 day–1) and showed a steady threefold increase since 2009 (average 11 tests m–2 day–1) and a tenfold increase from the 2008 flux (3 tests m–2 day–1).

First posted September 27, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
600 Fourth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4846
(727) 803-8747

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Suggested citation:

Reynolds, C.E., Richey, J.N., and Poore, R.Z., 2013, Seasonal flux and assemblage composition of planktic foraminifera from the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008–2012: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1243, 13 p.,




Regional Setting

Materials and Methods

Results from 2012




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