Bulletin of Marine and Coastal Research

Characterization of coccolithophore assemblages in the offshore basins of the Colombian Pacific

Esteban Osorio-Gòmez, Diego Vallejo Hincapie, Daniel Rincón-Martínez, Sandra Restrepo-Acevedo, Andres Pardó-Trujillo, Raúl Trejos-Tamayo


This study was conducted on coccolithophores recovered from 39 piston-core samples taken offshore Chocó and Tumaco basins, on the Colombian Pacific. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the coccoliths showed changes in the relative abundances and the state of preservation in the two basins. The examined sediments were characterized by the coccoliths Gephyrocapsa oceanica, Gephyrocapsa
muellerae, Gephyrocapsa <3 μm, Emiliania huxleyi, Calcidiscus leptoporus and Helicosphaera carteri, which presented abundances higher than 2 %. We also identified a minority assemblage (<2%) constituted by Ceratolithus spp., Coccolithus pelagicus, Florisphaera profunda,
Helicosphaera princei, Helicosphaera sellii, Helicosphaera wallichii and Pontosphaera spp. together with reworked specimens of Reticulofenestra spp, Sphenolithus spp. and Discoaster spp. The recovery of E. huxleyi as part of the assemblage indicates that the studied sediments are younger than the biozone NN21, covering an age range of Middle Pleistocene (Ionian). The number of coccoliths per gram (cc/g) was calculated, demonstrating an average of 5.7x106 cc/g and 1.2x107 cc/g for Chocó and Tumaco basins, respectively. In order to interpret the causes of this variance, we performed a multivariate redundancy analysis (RDA), showing that the distance to the coastline is the controlling factor of the fluctuations of the relative abundances and distribution of the coccoliths in both basins.


Coccolithophores; Colombian Pacific; Chocó basin; Tumaco basin; Quaternary


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DOI: 10.25268/bimc.invemar.2019.48.2.768.


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