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Holocene Radiolaria from Sediments of the Gulf of California

Text by: Richard N. Benson (2005)

The following text (in the pdf-file) is excerpted and revised from my 1966 Ph.D. thesis from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, “Recent Radiolaria from the Gulf of California.” It reflects the information about the Gulf of California (with a few more recent updates) and the state of radiolarian taxonomy available at that time. I am indebted to William R. Riedel of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who introduced me to and first mentored me on the study of these beautiful siliceous protist skeletons.

In 2003, I spent two months in Oslo, Norway, with Kjell Bjørklund and Jane Dolven to revise and update the taxonomy of the radiolarian taxa I defined and described in 1966 and which now appear in www.radiolaria.org under Radiolarian species info: Holocene (Recent)---Gulf of California. The Appendix lists the revised names followed by Benson’s (1966) names and cited illustrations that conform to our 2003 concept of each taxon.

I have included summaries of later studies of radiolarian distributions in the Gulf by Molina-Cruz (1986), Pisias (1986), and Molina-Cruz et al. (1999). I have renamed taxa listed in those studies to reflect the updated taxonomy found in Radiolaria.org. See the synonymies in Radiolaria.org for each taxon for names used by the above authors in their studies.


Benson (2005) (pdf, 1.1 MB)



Contents of pdf-file
Gulf of California Radiolarian Sampling Sites and Proceduresp. 3
Gulf of California Submarine Topographyp. 6
Gulf of California Sedimentsp. 9
     Biogenous Componentsp. 9
Gulf of California Climate and Oceanographyp. 13
     Climatep. 13
     Horizontal Distribution of Propertiesp. 13
     Vertical Distribution of Propertiesp. 14
     General Circulationp. 15
     Upwelling and Biological Productivityp. 16
Distribution of Radiolarians in Surface Sediments of the Gulf of California (Benson, 1966)p. 20
     Total Number of Taxap. 21
     Spumellarian/Nassellarian (S/N) Test Ratiop. 21
     Spumellarian/Nassellarian (S/N) Taxon Ratiop. 21
     Radiolarian Assemblagesp. 21
Predominant Taxa in Holocene Sediments of the Gulf of California.p. 22
     Upwelling/diatomite assemblagep. 23
     Relative Abundances of Dominant Taxap. 25
Later Studies of Radiolarian Distributions in the Gulf of Californiap. 26
     Molina-Cruz (1986)p. 26
     Molina-Cruz et al. (1999)p. 27
     Pisias (1986)p. 28
Radiolarian Systematicsp. 30
     Age of the Gulf assemblagep. 30
     Ontogeny of the testp. 30
     Availability of silicap. 31
     Morphology of spumellarian testsp. 31
     Morphology of nassellarian testsp. 31
References Citedp. 39
Appendixp. 41
     Suprageneric Classification and List of Gulf of California Holocene Radiolariap. 41

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