Planktic-benthic foraminifera ratio (%P) as a tool for the reconstruction of paleobathymetry and geohazard: A case study from Taiwan

Raúl Tapia, Sicheng Le, Sze Ling Ho, Maria Angela Bassetti, In Tian Lin, Hui Ling Lin, Yuan Pin Chang, Kuo Tung Jiann, Pei Ling Wang, Jheng Kuan Lin, Nathalie Babonneau, Gueorgui Ratzov, Shu Kun Hsu, Chih Chieh Su

研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

2 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


The calcite tests of foraminifera are an important biogenic component of marine sediments. The abundance of foraminiferal tests in marine sediments broadly varies with bathymetry, thus has been used to reconstruct paleobathymetry. It is also promising as a tracer for downslope transport triggered by earthquakes and typhoons, especially if the displaced material from shallow locality contrasts strongly with the background autochthonous sediments in terms of foraminiferal abundance, such as the ratio of benthic and planktic foraminifera termed %P. However, its applicability in sediments off Taiwan has not been assessed. Taiwan is located in the path of typhoons and at tectonic plate margins, where typhoons and earthquakes may trigger submarine geohazards. This, combined with the fact that its seafloor spans a large bathymetric range, render this region an ideal natural laboratory to evaluate the applicability of %P as a proxy for tracing submarine geohazards and bathymetry. Here we report foraminiferal abundance, %P, grain size and elemental data from 148 surface sediment samples off 6 sectors off Taiwan, namely Southern Okinawa Trough, Hoping-Nanao-Hateruma Basins, Taitung-Hualien, Hengchun Ridge, Gaoping, and Changyun Sand Ridge. Of all the hydrographic and sedimentological parameters assessed, seafloor bathymetry is the major driver of foraminiferal abundance and %P in these regions. Notably, several data points deviate from the regional %P-water depth relationship. Based on sedimentological parameters and previous studies, we posit that these outliers may have to do with local sedimentation setting. These processes include earthquake-induced sediment transport via submarine canyon in the Southern Okinawa Trough, typhoon-triggered sediment flushing in Gaoping Canyon, cross-shelf and northward advection of planktic foraminifera on the Gaoping shelf, and carbonate dissolution in the deep Hateruma Basin. Off Taiwan, the %P value in sediments increases exponentially with bathymetry (R2 = 0.72, n = 81), and agrees well with the global calibration obtained by combining data from several regions of the global ocean (R2 = 0.86, n = 1004). The regional %P-water depth relationship may be useful for reconstructing paleobathymetry here, albeit with an uncertainty in the range of 14–1600 m. The uncertainty increases with water depth. Our results also highlight the potential of the %P index as a tracer for downslope transport and lateral advection in the water column. In conclusion, the downcore application of %P has the potential to reconstruct past geohazard events while also identifying autochthonous sediment sequences that are suitable for paleoceanographic reconstruction.

期刊Marine Geology
出版狀態已出版 - 11月 2022


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