Benthic foraminifers in fjords: Response to water masses

Benthic foraminiferal shells are common to frequent components of the marine sediments in fjords. Changes of their distribution with time have long been used to date Ouaternary sediments. More rccent studies have shown that benthic foraminiferal distribution patterns strongly reflect the various aspects of the hydrography of fjords. In particular, one can distinguish species which live 1) under the influence of seasonally changing surface water masses, from those which live 2) at intermediate water depths, and those which inhabit 3) the deepest and hydrographically relatively stable parts of the basins. The
interfaces separating the different assemblages are not horizontal, but follow hydrographic gradients, which are controlled by basin morphology and local water mass distribution. The specics associations vary from area to area, even in adjacent sedimentary basins.