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The impact of Paleocene/Eocene (P/E) boundary events in northern Sinai, Egypt: Planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and faunal turnovers


, : The impact of Paleocene/Eocene (P/E) boundary events in northern Sinai, Egypt: Planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and faunal turnovers. Revue de Paleobiologie 24(1): 1-16

The present study deals with planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and faunal turnover events across the P/E boundary in neritic and bathyal environments. In the investigated area, the paleodepth are based mainly on the paleobathymetric implication of the recorded assemblages. The planktonic foraminiferal assemblages from the P/E boundary provide a good database for biostratigraphic subdivisions and identification of faunal changes. Thirteen planktonic foraminiferal biozones are recorded from the study area. These include: the Early Paleocene Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina, Parasubbotina pseudobulloides, Praemurica trinidadensis and Praemurica uncinata Zones; the Middle Paleocene Morozovella angulata and Igorina pusilla pusilla Zones; the Late Paleocene Globanomalina pseudomenardii and Morozovella velascoensis Zones and the Early Eocene Morozovella edgari, Morozovella subbotinae, Morozovella formosa formosa, Morozovella aragonensis and Acarinina pentacamerata Zones. During the investigated interval, two global planktonic foraminiferal faunal turnover events have been identified in the study area reflecting a major sea level change. These turnovers are characterized by discontinuous distribution of species and changes in the relative abundance of species and diversification. The Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina/Parasubbotina pseudobulloides zonal boundary and the Igorina pusilla pusilla/Globanomalina pseudomenardii zonal boundary during the Paleocene are identified by a decrease in the P/B ratio and the occurrence of rare cosmopolitan bathyal species, indicating a possible shallower marine environment. This conspicuous decline was followed by a gradual increasing of the P/B ratio, due to a rise of the sea level during the Morozovella velascoensis Zone through the Early Eocene Morozovella subbotinae Zone. Moreover, the upper level of Morozovella formosa formosa Zone as well as the Morozovella aragonensis and Acarinina pentacamerata Zones of the Early Eocene are also characterized by a decrease in the P/B ratio and the Aggl./Calc. ratio. The Esna Shale was deposited in a progressive shallowing upwards within a middle neritic to upper bathyal environment with the only exception of the upper part that deposited in a relatively shallow inner neritic environment. The base of the Thebes Formation was also deposited in a progressively shallowing middle neritic environment. These observed in the sea level possibly correspond to eustatic changes.

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