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Planktic Foraminiferal Content in a Mature Agulhas Eddy from the SE Atlantic: Any Influence on Foraminiferal Export Fluxes?


Title (Dublin Core)

Planktic Foraminiferal Content in a Mature Agulhas Eddy from the SE Atlantic: Any Influence on Foraminiferal Export Fluxes?

Description (Dublin Core)

<div>The Agulhas eddies, large-scale rings of warm salty water, occasionally</div><div>intrude into the Benguela Current system from the Indian Ocean and progress northwards across the Cape Basin and the Walvis Ridge. This inter-ocean exchange of heat and salt along the Cape of Good Hope is considered to play a crucial role for the global thermohaline circulation. Yet, the modern faunal composition of mature eddies from the northern Cape Basin and Walvis Ridge was uninvestigated in spite of the global importance of the Agulhas inflow, preventing firm micropalaeontological study of the palaeoceanographic variability of the ocean exchange in this area.</div><div>This paper describes the composition of the modern planktic foraminiferal assemblages collected from a mature Agulhas eddy when it entered into the northern Benguela Current system. The effect of the eddy’s gradual decay on the foraminiferal communities in the upper water column is specifically examined, using plankton tow and CTD-rosette profiles, obtained within and outside the ring. In addition,</div><div>exported foraminiferal fluxes beneath the eddy were investigated in order to determine their impact on the accumulation assemblages as recorded in sediment traps moored near the sea floor and in the core-top sediment from a box corer.</div><div>The examined mature eddy “W” was clearly evident on the satellite</div><div>altimetry images by its elevated surface. It was distinguished from the surrounding ocean by a slightly higher salinity, deeper surface mixed layer and higher planktic foraminiferal standing stocks. Similar</div><div>to planktic foraminiferal fauna in freshly formed eddies from the Agulhas retroflection, species such as Globigerinoides trilobus s.l., Globigerinoides ruber, Orbulina universa, Globigerinella siphoni-fera and Globorotalia scitula dominated in the ring “W” assemblages. However, Globorotalia menardii, a species previously believed to be characteristic for the Agulhas leakage into the S. Atlantic, was virtually</div><div>absent in the eddy “W” fauna. Also Globorotaloides hexagona, a species endemic in Indian Ocean waters, was not found in the water column, in the export flux or underlying sediment. The February to July foraminiferal flux patterns recorded by the sediment traps mirror the February standing stocks from the water column. Here in contrast, the core-top results show dominance of intermediate/cold water species</div><div>that originate from the seasonal spring bloom. This signal prevails</div><div>in sediment to the extent that any potential Agulhas eddy signature</div><div>in the sediment was overprinted.</div>

Creator (Dublin Core)

Neven Lončarić

Subject (Dublin Core)

Planktic foraminifera
Southeast Atlantic
Agulhas eddies
Interocean exchange
Globorotalia menardii

Publisher (Dublin Core)

Croatian Geological Survey

Date (Dublin Core)


Type (Dublin Core)


Identifier (Dublin Core)


Source (Dublin Core)

Geologia Croatica, Vol 59, Iss 1, Pp 41-50 (2006)

Language (Dublin Core)


Relation (Dublin Core)

Provenance (Dublin Core)

Journal Licence: CC BY