US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Micropalentolgoy.


Very well-preserved Pliocene diatoms from a diatomite unit interbedded within glacial sediments at Ocean Drilling Program Site 742 in Prydz Bay, Antarctica are documented and illustrated. The presence of Thalassiosira kolbei, T torokina, Actinocyclus actinochilus, A karstenii and the absence of Nitzschia interfrigidaria, T. insigna and T. vulnifica in Sample 119-742A-15R-4, 44-46 cm constrain its age to ca. 2.2-1.8 Ma (late Pliocene). Diatoms associated with sea ice constitute 35% of the Pliocene diatom assemblage, compared with 71% of the modern sediment assemblage at the site, suggesting that sea ice was present during the late Pliocene period of deposition of the sample, although it probably was not the significant feature it is today.