LATE HOLOCENE PALEOXYGENATION AND PALEOPRODRUCTIVITY OF THE PANAMA GULF
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Universidad Industrial de Santander
Paleocenographic conditions in the Panama Bight for the past 4000 years were inferred by using the micropaleontological record from the deep sea core KNR176-2-MC4 (7.27 degrees N, 78.24 degrees W; water depth 2121 m). The epifauna-infauna relationship of deep-sea benthic foraminifera and their diversity gradually increase up-core, which is interpreted as a result of: (1) a decrease in the dissolved oxygen content towards the recent and, (2) higher taphonomic effects which modify the original composition of the microfauna. Indicative taxa of moderate oxygen conditions, such as Uvigerina proboscidea and Oridorsalis umbonatus were found at the base of the core. In contrast, lower oxygenation and higher productivity conditions are inferred by the common presence of Globobulimina affinis and Uvigerina proboscidea. Additional paleoproductivity indicators such as Epistominella spp. and Uvigerina peregrina were more common in the middle part of the core. The comparison of the MC4 core micropaleontological record with several paleoclimatic records from the Panama isthmus (the Woodhouse Lake, and the Chilibrillo stalagmite) illustrates that a higher recurrence of El Nino events since 5000 years BP, could be related to a higher frequency and intensity of upwelling processes in the Panama Gulf. However, themagnetic susceptibility of the MC4 core presents variations which cannot be related with to a reduction in local rainfall.