The foraminifera of Chincoteague Bay, Assateague Island, and the surrounding areas: A regional distribution study

Journal of Foraminiferal Research
By: , and 
Edited by: Christopher G. Smith



Foraminiferal census data from Chincoteague Bay, Newport Bay, the salt marshes of Assateague Island, adjacent mainland salt marshes, and the inner-shelf, were assessed to determine the current assemblages in Chincoteague Bay, and how the different environments surrounding the bay, and the gradients within the bay, influence the microfossil distribution. Determining the current background distribution and its drivers allows for future comparisons to determine paleoenvironmental conditions, impacts from natural and anthropogenic pollution, and the influence of climate change. Foraminiferal census data were compared to sedimentological characteristics and environmental parameters, exhibiting strong correlations with salinity, sediment organic content, and grain-size. Foraminiferal distributions exhibited a gradient from an assemblage dominated by Elphidium cf. E. excavatum near Chincoteague inlet to an assemblage dominated by Ammonia parkinsoniana and Ammobaculites cf. Ab. exiguus in the more restricted central and northern portions of the bay. The sites closest to the mouth of Trappe Creek in Newport Bay, along the western side of Chincoteague Bay and in the central bay, had a greater relative abundance of dead agglutinated taxa compared with the majority of sites in Chincoteague Bay. Despite the overwhelming dominance of calcareous taxa throughout the bay, dissolution may affect the preservation potential of Cribroelphidium poeyanum and Haynesina germanica in the northern and central portions of Chincoteague Bay, as indicated by seasonal pH data. Similarly, the sandy back-barrier lagoonal sites exhibited relatively low densities, potentially a result of dissolution or mechanical destruction.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The foraminifera of Chincoteague Bay, Assateague Island, and the surrounding areas: A regional distribution study
Series title Journal of Foraminiferal Research
DOI 10.2113/gsjfr.48.3.223
Volume 48
Issue 3
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 18 p.
First page 223
Last page 240
Country United States
Other Geospatial Assateague Island, Chincoteague Bay
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