Articles | Volume 18, issue 2
01 Dec 1999
 | 01 Dec 1999

Palaeoenvironment of Maastrichtian ostracods from ODP Holes 1049B, 1050C and 1052E in the Western North Atlantic

Stefan Majoran

Abstract. The Maastrichtian ostracods recovered from ODP Holes 1049B, 1050C and 1052E on the Blake Nose, Western North Atlantic, are investigated. The three sites are located on a depth transect encompassing middle to lower bathyal, Late Cretaceous palaeodepths. Fourteen samples ranging in age from early to late Maastrictian are investigated from Hole 1052E, which is the shallowest site. The early Maastrichtian G. falsostuarti–G. gansseri Zone of Hole 1052E yields rare ostracods. The species richness, abundance and faunal density are on average considerably higher in the late Maastrichtian R. fructicosa and A. mayaroensis Zones of Hole 1052E, possibly, at least partly, as a result of palaeoceanographical changes that were also responsible for the disappearance of the inoceramid bivalves at this location. A palaeobathymetrical comparsion among the late Maastrichtian ostracod assemblages recorded from Holes 1049B, 1050C and 1052E shows that the faunal density and mean number of taxa are inversely correlated with palaeodepth; however, the dominance of the platycopid genus Cytherella increases with palaeodepth. A dominance of platycopids may signify environmental stress related to low oxygen content. The dominance of the benthic foraminifer Nuttalides trumpeyi in the Late Cretaceous of Holes 1049B and 1050C provides additional evidence of oxygen deficiency. From a total of 28 genera recorded from Holes 1049B, 1050C and 1052E, 14 were previously recorded from Hole 689B, a high latitude hole in the Southern Ocean, and show that many ostracod genera display a wide latitudinal distribution in the Late Cretaceous deep sea, although more geographically restricted genera are also present, analogous with modern and Tertiary oceans.