Marine Microfossils and Biostratigraphy
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Objectives: After completing this exercise your students should be able to:
1. Infer paleoecological and paleobiological information using microfossil distribution data.
2. Make observations about microfossil abundance data and make hypotheses to
explain their observations.
3. Apply a biostratigraphic zonation to microfossil abundance data and use it to interpret relative ages.
4. Use microfossil data to calculate rates of sediment accumulation.
5. Use microfossil data to test the reliability of microfossil datum levels in
multiple locations, and correlate sedimentary sequences at different locations.
The following topics are addressed in this exercise set: phyto- & zooplankton distributions, abundances & diversity; geologic timescales; sea level change; trophic levels & productivity; age determination using fossils, index fossils, biozones, datums, first/last occurrences; extinction; sediment accumulation rates, age-depth plots; calibration & correlation of different types of data; unconformities, hiatus; reliability and uncertainty.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
The student activity can be downloaded from: http://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi/stjohn/sample_chapters.html select Chapter 3, Marine Microfossils and Biostratigraphy.
Teaching Notes and Tips
Instructors Notes: See the pdf file Instructor Notes (Acrobat (PDF) 325kB Jul23 15).
In addition go to: http://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi/stjohn/supplementary.html for suggested supplemental materials (Chapter 3).Solution Set: A pdf file that contains a detailed answer key and additional suggestions for instructors can be obtained by emailing Kristen St. John (email@example.com).
References and Resources
This exercise is an open access chapter from:
St. John, K., Leckie, R.M., Pound, K., Jones, M., and Krissek, L., 2012. Reconstructing Earth's Climate History: Inquiry-based Exercises for Lab and Class. Wiley-Blackwell, 485p; http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-EHEP002690.html.For other open access chapters from this book go to: http://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi/stjohn/sample_chapters.html.
References used in constructing this exercise include:Brown, P.R., 2005, Cenozoic calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy, ODP Leg 198 Site 1208 (Shatsky Rise, Northwest Pacific Ocean). Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Bralower, T.J., et al. (eds), vol. 198, College Station, TX, Ocean Drilling Program, pp. 1–44. http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/198_SR/104/104.htm
Gradstein, F., 1987, Report of the Second Conference on Scientific Ocean Drilling (Cosod II), European Science Foundation, Strasbourg, France, p. 109.
Kameo, K. and Bralower, T.J., 2000, Neogene calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy of Sites 998, 999, and 1000, Caribbean Sea. In Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, vol. 165, Leckie, R.M., et al. (eds), College Station, TX, Ocean Drilling Program, pp. 3–17. http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/165_SR/chap_01/chap_01.htm
Katz, M.E., et al., 2005, Biological overprint of the geological carbon cycle. Marine Geology, 217, 323–38.
Shipboard Scientific Party, 1992, Site 846. In Initial Reports of the Ocean Drilling Program, vol. 138, Mayer, L., et al., College Station, TX, Ocean Drilling Program, pp. 256–333; doi:10.2973/odp.proc.ir.138.111.1992. http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/138_IR/VOLUME/CHAPTERS/ir138_11.pdf
Shipboard Scientific Party, 2002, Explanatory notes. In Proceedings ODP, Initial Reports of the Ocean Drilling Program, vol. 198, Bralower, T.J., et al., College Station, TX, Ocean Drilling Program, pp. 1–63. doi:10.2973/odp.proc.ir.198.102.2002. http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/198_IR/198TOC.HTM
Young, J.R., 1998, Neogene. In Calcareous Nannofossil Biostratigraphy, Bown, P.R. (ed.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 225–65.
An excellent resource for identification of marine microfossils is a new digital atlas of marine microfossils which can be accessed at http://iodp.tamu.edu/publications/TN.html. Select: IODP Technical Note 2. (PDF; 105.9 MB) IODP Smear Slide Digital Reference for Sediment Analysis of Marine Mud. Part 2: Methodology and Atlas of Biogenic Components (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.2204/iodp.tn.2.2015 .