Modern agglutinated Foraminifera from the Hovgård Ridge, Fram Strait, west of Spitsbergen: evidence for a deep bottom current

Michael A. Kaminski, Frank Niessen, The PS87 Shipboard Geoscience Party


Deep-water agglutinated foraminifera on the crest of the Hovgård Ridge, west of Spitsbergen, consist mostly of large tubular astrorhizids. At a boxcore station collected from the crest of Hovgård Ridge at a water depth of 1169 m, the sediment surface was covered with patches of large (1 mm diameter) tubular forms, belonging mostly to the species Astrorhiza crassatina Brady, with smaller numbers of Saccorhiza, Hyperammina, and Psammosiphonella. Non-tubular species consisted mainly of opportunistic forms, such as Psammosphaera and Reophax. The presence of large suspension-feeding tubular genera as well as opportunistic forms point to the presence of deep currents at this locality that are strong enough to disturb the benthic fauna. This is confirmed by data obtained from sediment echosounding, which exhibit lateral variation in relative sedimentation rates within the Pleistocene sedimentary drape covering the ridge, indicative of winnowing in a south-easterly direction.

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