Benthic foraminifera (stained) in sub-Antarctic fjords of South Georgia


We present a baseline study of “living” (rose Bengal stained) benthic foraminifera from fjords of South Georgia, including fjords with and without tidewater glaciers. Their distribution is analyzed in the light of new fjord water and sediment property data, including grain size and sorting, total organic carbon, total sulfur, and δ13C of bulk organic matter. Four well-defined foraminiferal assemblages are recognized. Miliammina earlandi dominates in the most restricted, near-shore and glacier-proximal habitats, Cassidulinoides aff. parkerianus in mid-fjord areas, and Globocassidulina aff. rossensis and an assemblage dominated by Ammobaculites rostratus, Reophax subfusiformis, and Astrononion echolsi in the outer parts of fjords. Miliammina earlandi can tolerate strong glacial influence, including high sedimentation rates in fjord heads and sediment anoxia, as inferred from sediment color and total organic carbon/sulfur ratios. This versatile species thrives both in the food-poor inner reaches of fjords that receive mainly refractory petrogenic organic matter from glacial meltwater, and in shallow-water coves where it benefits from an abundant supply of fresh, terrestrial and marine organic matter. A smooth-walled variant of C. aff. parkerianus, apparently endemic to South Georgia, is the calcareous rotaliid best adapted to inner fjord conditions characterized by moderate glacial influence and sedimentation rates and showing no preference for particular sedimentary redox conditions. The outer parts of fjords with clear, well-oxygenated bottom water, are inhabited by G. aff. rossensis. Ammobaculites rostratus, R. subfusiformis, and A. echolsi dominate in the deepest-water settings with water salinities ≥ 33.9 PSU and temperatures 0.2–1.4 °C, characteristic for Winter Water and Upper Circumpolar Deep Water.

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Metadata Access
Creator Majewski, Wojciech ORCID logo; Szczuciński, Witold ORCID logo; Gooday, Andrew J
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2023
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Bundled Publication of Datasets; Collection
Format application/zip
Size 5 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-36.980W, -54.366S, -36.375E, -54.071N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2019-11-26T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2019-12-05T00:00:00Z