Foraminiferal stratigraphy and amino acid geochronology of Quaternary sediments in the Norwegian Channel, northern North Sea

Based on isoleucine epimerization in benthonic foraminifera and the investigation of benthic and planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, it is concluded that the upper c. 120m of the sediment sequence in the middle of the Norwegian Channel west of Bergen, Norway, spans the last approximately 300 ka. Most of these sediments consist of relatively coarse grained glacigenic material (tills and glacial marine sediments). These sediments usually contain foraminiferal faunas with low numbers of individuals and
arctic and boreal species occur in mixed assemblages together with relatively high numbers of pre-Quaternary foraminifera. Between 62 and 72 m and 110 and 120m in core 5.1/5.2, sorted sediments with in situ foraminiferal faunas occur. The uppermost of these units contains a planktonic and benthonic foraminiferal fauna indicating marine conditions at !east as temperate and favorable as those prevailing in the area today. This period is designated the Troll Interglacial and is correlated with the last interglacial,
the Eemian. The lowermost of these sorted units contain benthonic and planktonic faunas which suggest marine conditions at !east as temperate as those prevailing in the low arctic to high boreal regions today. All available evidence suggests an age between 200 and 300 ka for this unit. The complexity of the glacigenic sedimentary units recorded in the core between and above these interglacial sediments and seismic data suggest that further examination of the sequence may give new information on the glacial history of the northern North Sea.