Species of the diatom taxa <i>Aulacodiscus</i> and <i>Trinacria</i> with biostratigraphic utility in Palaeogene and Neogene North Sea sediments

Mitlehner, Alexander G.

Species of Aulacodiscus and Trinacria, two important marine diatom genera with biostratigraphic utility in offshore North Sea exploration and onshore correlation, are identified, described and emended and the North Sea microfaunal zonation scheme is revised accordingly. Occurring mainly as pyritised diatom moulds or steinkerns, detailed scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of several specimens, formerly in open nomenclature, has allowed the correct taxonomic identification of pyritised morphologies found to belong to the genus Aulacodiscus, including A. allorgei, A. heterostictus, A. insignis, A. singilewskyanus, A. subexcavatus and A. suspectus. The important marker species Trinacria regina is emended. SEM studies, using specimens preserved in pyrite and original silica, have shed further light on the varying forms and frustule morphology of Trinacria regina so that valves and frustules formerly thought to represent separate species are now found to be grouped within this taxon; SEM studies have shown that many of these variations represent different valves within a chain, whilst others may signify ecophenotypic variants. Emendments are therefore made to clarify the taxonomic status of different variants within T. regina, important in the Palaeocene–Eocene boundary interval onshore and offshore such as the Sele and Balder formations and the Fur Formation diatomite of Jutland, Denmark. Species of taxa formerly in open nomenclature are now assigned to Aulacodiscus insignis, which are important offshore markers in offshore late Oligocene to early Miocene sediments in northwest Europe.

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Mitlehner, Alexander G.: Species of the diatom taxa <i>Aulacodiscus</i> and <i>Trinacria</i> with biostratigraphic utility in Palaeogene and Neogene North Sea sediments. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Alexander G. Mitlehner

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