The Oligocene epoch represents a somewhat neglected chapter in paleoclimate and paleoceanographic history, which is at least partially due to the scarcity of complete Oligocene sedimentary archives and poor biostratigraphic age control. Many of the biotic events registered in Oligocene microfossils are strongly diachronous across latitudes as a response to increased global cooling and enhanced meridional temperature gradients. To improve biostratigraphic age control for the Oligocene of the North Atlantic Ocean, we carried out a high-resolution study of dinoflagellate cysts from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Sites U1405, U1406 and U1411 off Newfoundland. Together the sites comprise an apparently complete uppermost Eocene (34.9 Ma) to lowermost Miocene (21.7 Ma) sequence with good magnetostratigraphic age control. This allows us to firmly tie identified dinoflagellate cyst bioevents to the geomagnetic polarity timescale. In the dinoflagellate cyst assemblages studied we have identified and magnetostratigraphically-calibrated ten first and 19 last appearance datums. Our magnetostratigraphically-calibrated dinocyst-based biostratigraphy, which is based on an average sample resolution of a sample every ~ 150 kyrs, will contribute to an improved age framework for future paleoceanographical studies in the higher-latitude North Atlantic.
- Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
- North Atlantic
- Programme Area 3: Energy Resources