The near-shore open-marine diatom record recovered in the ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) McMurdo Ice Shelf Project (MIS) AND-1B drillcore, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, advances our understanding of the marine conditions present in the southern Ross Sea during the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. This diatom history is recorded within alternating diamictite and diatomite that reflect alternating glacial activity and high marine primary productivity. The diatomite units were deposited in a continental shelf open-marine setting during periods of reduced ice cover in West Antarctica. A new diatom biostratigraphic scheme spanning the last ca. 5Ma is proposed for the Antarctic near-shore area, based on prior work from high latitude drillcores. Four new zones are proposed for the Pliocene/Pleistocene, with eight in total for the new zonal scheme, utilizing Actinocylus fasciculatus, Actinocyclus maccollumii, Fragilariopsis bohatyii, Rouxia antarctica, and Thalassiosira fasciculata as new zonal markers. The early Pliocene shares the most assemblage commonality with that of the Southern Ocean with greater numbers of endemic species observed in the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene; a group of related Fragilaripsis species characterizes much of this later part of the time column. Two new species are proposed, Fragilariopsis tigris sp. nov. Riesselman and Thalassiosira teres sp. nov. Winter; a formal name is also proposed for another species, Rhizosolenia harwoodii sp. nov. Winter. The new zonation is tied to a robust chronology utilizing diatom biostratigraphy, volcanic40Ar/39Ar ages and magnetostratigraphy. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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