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Cenozoic history of Antarctic benthic diatoms


Whitehead, JM, Cenozoic history of Antarctic benthic diatoms, Alcheringa, 29, (1) pp. 151-169. ISSN 0311-5518 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/03115510508619565


Antarctic Cenozoic climate changes have influenced the development of the Southern Ocean benthic diatom flora. When Antarctica and South America separated in the late Eocene (∼37 Ma), giving rise to the proto-Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the environment gradually changed from temperate alpine glacial to subpolar with ice sheet development. By the early Oligocene (∼30 Ma), at least thirteen new benthic diatom genera had appeared in the Antarctic. Many of the genera probably migrated from lower latitudes (e.g. New Zealand) prior to the ACC becoming fully established (23 ± 2.5 Ma), which increased the physical separation of Antarctica. Further migration may have occurred during later periods of climate warming, but the Cenozoic was generally a time of progressive climate cooling, and increased glaciation that may have caused diatom extinctions. Some genera became extinct during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene, for example, when glaciers covered much of the Antarctic continental shelf. Many of the benthic diatom genera now extinct in Antarctica still occur in ice-free environments at lower latitudes. Most extant benthic Antarctic diatom taxa are eurytopic and probably survived Cenozoic glaciations by either inhabiting sea-ice or becoming planktic, as sea-floor habitats were restricted. © AAP.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Palaeontology (incl. palynology)
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Whitehead, JM (Dr Jason Whitehead)
ID Code:38468
Year Published:2005
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP0345161)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2009-06-29

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