Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


First Advisor

David K. Watkins

Date of this Version



Chin, S. C. (2016). Upper Albian to Lower Cenomanian Calcareous Nannofossil Biostratigraphy of the proto-North Atlantic. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor David K. Watkins. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Shamar Crystal - Ann Chin


Lower Cenomanian calcareous nannofossil assemblages from Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Sites 137 and 547 in the proto-North Atlantic Ocean were analyzed quantitatively to examine the fidelity of the widely used CC and UC calcareous nannofossil Zonal schemes. Datasets from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) holes 1050C and 1052E (Blake Nose) and Tanzania Drilling Project (TDP) Site 24 were integrated into this dataset. Four biozones spanning the upper Albian through middle Cenomanian were determined using the method of unitary associations (UA). Data were also used from these sequences to generate a ranking and scaling (RASC) optimum sequence. A new reliability index method that uses binomial probabilities is proposed because the existing method does not work well for Mesozoic taxa due to patchy distribution and lower abundances. Three bioevents, Gartnerago stenostaurion - LAD, Lithraphidites eccentricum - FAD, and Staurolithites mutterlosei - LAD, were shown to be reliable markers for lower Cenomanian biostratigraphy based on the new reliability index values. This study also corroborates the lower Cenomanian FAD of Lithraphidites eccentricum, whereas the FAD of Cylindralithus scultpus and the LAD Zeugrhabdotus xenotus appear to be more effective as regional rather than global markers, due to discrepancies in superpositional relationships in these sections. A biostratigraphic framework improved the age model for DSDP Leg 79, Site 547 by documenting an expanded section across the Albian/Cenomanian boundary at Site 547 based on the LAD of Corollithion kennedyi. A revised age model for DSDP Leg 14, Site 137 now includes an older age into the upper Albian - middle Cenomanian. Site 547 had a higher diversity of holococcoliths than Site 137. Calculites anfractus, an important marker species, was proposed as a nannofossil marker species associated with the Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Cenomanian; however, it does not occur globally. Controls on holococcolith distribution are poorly understood and are likely controlled by oceanic setting. C. anfractus may be controlled by these factors, and as such, is not a reliable nannofossil marker for the Albian/Cenomanian boundary.

Advisor: David K. Watkins