Radiolarian Biostratigraphy and Faunal Turnover across the Early/Middle Miocene Boundary in the Equatorial Pacific

Shin Ichi Kamikuri, Theodore C. Moore, Hiroki Matsui, Hiroshi Nishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sedimentary sequences obtained from drilling during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 320/321, "Pacific Equatorial Age Transect (PEAT)" at eight sites (Sites U1331-1338) in the equatorial Pacific offer an ideal record for reconstructing the evolution of the ocean/climate system throughout the Cenozoic. The sediments drilled at Site U1335 record short-term events of paleoceanographic significance, including the early Miocene climatic optimum (MCO) and the middle Miocene climatic transition (MMCT). Abundant well preserved radiolarians were recovered from the lower Miocene radiolarian Zone RN2 through middle Miocene Zone RN5 at IODP Site U1335. A total of 46 radiolarian datum levels consisting of 20 first occurrences (FOs), 25 last occurrences (LOs), and one evolutionary transition (ET) was recognized within the studied interval at Site U1335. Of these datum levels, 36 radiolarian datum levels were directly tied to the geomagnetic polarity time scale (GPTS) across the early/middle Miocene boundary. The general magnitude of evolutionary change was estimated based on the total turnover rate (the sum of FOs and LOs per 0.5 m.y.) of tropical radiolarians, and two minor faunal turnovers of radiolarian species were recognized between 16.5 and 14.7 Ma and between 13.9 and 13.4 Ma. These faunal turnovers were associated with regional environmental changes such as the increased biological productivity in the equatorial Pacific during the MCO and the MMCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalPaleontological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • biological productivity
  • early Miocene climatic optimum (MCO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology


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