Distribution of Recent Benthic Foraminifera off Western Costa Rica in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean

Hitomi Uchimura, Hiroshi Nishi, Reishi Takashima, Azumi Kuroyanagi, Yuzuru Yamamoto, Steffen Kutterolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Benthic foraminifera provide essential information for paleobathymetric reconstructions. However, the modern distribution of benthic foraminifera, especially at depths below 1000 meters below sea level (mbsl), is still obscure in the offshore regions near Central and South America. To characterize the bathymetric scale in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, we examined the depth distribution of benthic foraminifera using piston core samples taken off the coast of Costa Rica. Foraminiferal assemblages vary according to water depth: 1) U1 (mainly composed of Ammonia beccarii, Cancris sagra, Elphidium tumidum, Hanzawaia concentrica, Pseudononion basispinata, and Planulina exorna) represent inner shelf faunas (shallower than 50 mbsl). 2) U2 (mainly composed of Ammobaculites foliaceus, Bolivina striatula, Cassidulina minuta, Hanzawaia concentrica, Uvigerina incilis, Bulimina denudata, and Cancris sagra) is correlated with mid-shelf depth assemblages, from 50 to 100 mbsl. 3) U3 (mainly composed of Uvigerina incilis, Hanzawaia concentrica, Angulogerina semitrigona, Bolivina acuminata, Bolivina bicostata, and Cibicorbis inflatus) is assigned to outer shelf assemblages from 100 to 200 mbsl. 4) U4 (mainly composed of Bolivina humilis, Bolivina seminuda, Bolivina subadvena, Cassidulina tumida, Epistominella obesa, Angulogerina carinata, and Cibicorbis inflatus) is the upper bathyal faunas (200-600 mbsl). 5) U5 (mainly composed of Brizalina argentea, Uvigerina peregrina, Uvigerina auberiana, Brizalina seminuda, Bulimina striata, Epistominella smithi and Globocassidulina subglobosa) is the mid-bathyal faunas (600-1000 mbsl). 6) U6 (mainly composed of Uvigerina auberiana, Uvigerina peregrina, Brizalina argentea, Bulimina mexicana, Cassidulina carinata, Epistominella smithi, and Lenticulina cushmani) represents the lower bathyal assemblage (1000-2000 mbsl). 7) U7 (mainly composed of Uvigerina auberiana, Brizalina argentea, and Eubuliminella tenuata) represent upper abyssal faunas (2000-3000 mbsl). 8) U8 (mainly composed of Glomospira sp. A, Lagenammina arenulata, Chilostomella oolina, Hoeglundina elegans, Melonis barleeanum, Nonion affine, Oridorsalis umbonatus, Pullenia bulloides, and Uvigerina proboscidea) is characterized by deep-water cosmopolitan faunas (deeper than 3000 mbsl). On the basis of a comparison with several environmental parameters, dissolved oxygen concentrations are likely to be the most effective factor controlling foraminiferal depth distributions in the eastern equatorial Pacific especially below the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). Around OMZ, nitrate concentration also might be related with the benthic assemblage due to the nitrate respiration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-396
Number of pages17
JournalPaleontological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1


  • bathymetric scale
  • benthic foraminifera
  • cluster analysis
  • Costa Rica
  • Recent


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