Aphrodite project

WATERLEVEN
WATERLEVEN

Aphrodite project

II Foraminiferans can remember

The White Sea due to its specific features of geography and hydrological regime is of particular interest for research. Data on the modern characteristics of the White Sea water masses are available and being increased, however, information about the “historical” conditions is practically absent making it impossible to draw any conclusions on the hydrological processes which occurred here not only in the last centuries but even decades.

This project is a pilot paleoceanologic study of some parts of the White Sea basin. Our aim is to reconstruct bottom water masses temperatures. Such reconstruction must allow us to get a grasp on the previous changes in the bottom water conditions, how they could have affect local fauna and also make predictions for the future.

As in most studies with similar purpose, to reconstruct the temperature, as well as to date the sediment cores collected, we conduct isotopic analysis of the secreted benthic foraminifers’ tests. Foraminiferans - single-celled organisms, vastly presented in almost all marine habitats - have a calcareous shell well preserved in the geological record and comprising the oxygen isotopes O16 and O18. On the basis of their proportion it is possible to carry out the reconstruction of temperatures at which these organisms existed.