Foraminiferal record of the Middle Miocene climate transition prior to the Badenian salinity crisis in the Polish Carpathian Foredeep Basin (Central Paratethys)

Danuta Peryt


Foraminifers occurring in marls underlying the Middle Miocene Badenian gypsum in the northern Polish Carpathian Foredeep in one borehole section [Młyny (Busko) PIG 1] and in two dewatering pits in operating quarries (Leszcze and Borków) contain well-preserved foraminifers. Sixty-seven species of benthic and twenty-one species of planktonic foraminifers are recorded in the 12-m-thick section of the Młyny borehole. Benthic assemblages are characterized by the dominance of Bulimina and Uvigerina while planktonic assemblages are composed mainly by warm-water orbulinids and Globigerinoides spp. in the lower part of the Młyny section and by temperate-cold water Globigerina spp. in the upper part of the Młyny section as well as the Leszcze and Borków sections. The taxonomic composition of foraminiferal assemblages makes it possible to distinguish two foraminiferal zones in the Młyny borehole: the Orbulina suturalis and Uvigerina costai zones, and only the latter zone is accessible at Leszcze and Borków. The benthic foraminiferal successions in the studied interval suggest oxygenation and productivity changes in the Carpathian Foredeep Basin prior to the Badenian salinity crisis. Four intervals of lowered oxygenation and/or elevated organic flux to the sea-floor are recognized; the intervals in which foraminiferal assemblages suggest marine environments with lowered oxygenation in bottom waters alternate between the intervals where stress markers form less than 50% of the benthic foraminiferal assemblages. Benthic assemblages are moderately to highly diversified, and species have more equal frequencies. The upsection decrease in the proportion of planktonic foraminifers reflects the shallowing of the basin accompanied by a decrease in the temperature gradient between the upper (warmer) and deeper (colder) water beds. The average palaeotemperature of water based on d18O of Uvigerina and Globigerina decreased by ca. 2 and ca. 6°C, respectively (from 9.9 and 17.4°C in the Orbulina suturalis Zone to 7.9 and 11.5°C in the Uvigerina costai Zone, respectively). Below the gypsum, the d18O values of both benthic and planktonic foraminifers show quite large variations possibly due to the salinity increase. Coeval domination of benthic foraminiferal assemblages by Bulimina suggests increased surface water productivity and an increased organic flux to the sea-floor prior to the onset of evaporite deposition and/or salinity increase.



Middle Miocene; Foraminifers; Paratethys; Badenian; Salinity Crisis; Carpathian Foredeep

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