Pliocene palaeotemperature reconstruction for the southern North Sea Based on Ostracoda

Quaternary Science Reviews

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The development of a large northeastern Atlantic shelf ostracod database has confirmed that an intrinsic relationship exists between watermass temperature and the spatial (latitudinal) distribution of benthonic shelf Ostracoda. A second Pliocene ostracod database, using assemblages from four boreholes in The Netherlands and a number of localities from the East Anglian Neogene succession has also been constructed. A quantitative method of modern analogues and the Squared Chord Distance dissimilarity coefficient has been employed as a means of calculating the level of similarity between Recent and Neogene assemblages and, therefore, to aid in the reconstruction of palaeotemperatures in the southern North Sea Basin during the Pliocene. The results, in the form of contoured dissimilarity values, indicate the presence of at least seven palaeoceanographical climatic phases between ca. 5.2 and 1.6 Ma BP. An early Pliocene cooling phase (ecozone A), in which the fauna is dominated by the cryophilic species; Palmenella limicola (Norman), Elofsonella concinna (Jones), Robertsonites tuberculatus (Sars), Neomonoceratina tsurugasakensis (Tabuki) and Acanthocythereis dunelmensis (Norman), supervenes a period of stable subtropical conditions in the Miocene. A 'mid' Pliocene warming phase (ecozone B), which has been documented throughout the North Atlantic, can be recognized in the faunal composition of the sublittoral ostracod assemblages of both The Netherlands and East Anglia. A hiatus between the Coralline and Waltonian crags is thought to be associated with a deterioration in climatic conditions. Recent analogues to The Netherlands faunas of ecozone C (first phase late Pliocene cooling, ca. 2.9 Ma BP) indicate a decrease of approximately 5-6??C in mean summer surface temperatures. A return to elevated temperatures, of a Mauritanian aspect, can be seen in the fauna of the FA2 zone and Waltonian Crag. This amelioration of climate occurred prior to the Praetiglian cold phase (second phase late Pliocene cooling, ca. 2.4 Ma BP) which again saw the reintroduction of cryophilic species including Baffinicythere howei Hazel, Fimarchinella logani (Brady, Crosskey and Robertson) and Hemicythere emarginata (Sars), into the southern North Sea during the Newbournian and Butleyan stages. The final phase of the latest Pliocene (third phase late Pliocene cooling) is only documented in the ostracod fauna of the Norwich Crag. Evidence in the covariance of Loxoconchidae and Norwegian provincial cryophilic species, indicates that the Polar Front may have been as much as 2000 km further south during the deposition of the Chillesford Sand Member (Norwich Crag Fm., ca. 2.0-1.6 Ma BP). ?? 1994.

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Pliocene palaeotemperature reconstruction for the southern North Sea Based on Ostracoda
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Quaternary Science Reviews
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