- Reapraisal of the classic Cipero Coast
type section in Trinidad, SE Caribbean, for integrated biogeochronology
and morphologic evolution of planktonic foraminifera
- Project collaborators: Michael
Knappertsbusch and Sadie
- Supported by: Swiss National Science Foundation
(SNF) and Natural History Museum Basel (NMB)
- Project duration: May 2023 through April
- Project summary
- The Natural History Museum in Basel (NMB) maintains important
paleontological and geological collections from Central to northern
Southamerica including the Caribbean area. Among these are micropaleontological
collections from Trinidad, West Indies and Venezuela, that were
collected by former petroleum geologists like Hans G. Kugler
- well known as the 'Father on the Geology of Trinidad'
and his team during the first half of the twentieth century.
Alongside these collections the NMB holds extended micropalaeontological
archives, comprising primary field maps, many of them showing
sampling locations, geological sections, field books, foto collections
from outcrops, and innumerated unpublished reports, notes, and
correspondence with geologists and micropaleontologists around
- This legacy alltogether forms one of the pillars of the NMB.
It provides invaluable, worldwide unique insight into the former
professional network of these pioneers and tell us in detail
the history of micropaleontological research and of the petroleum
industry in Trinidad and surrounding regions since the late 1800s.
These archives provide unique prime information about the provenance
of the NMB's research collections from the Caribbean Sea, ideas,
concepts, and solucions in paleontology and stratigraphy from
specialists, the majority of whom is no longer alive.
With the present project we intend to emphasize the extreme value
of archival study for (micro-) paleontological and geological
research. In constructing a numerical age model from information
derived these archives we re-evaluate foraminiferal zonal type
samples stored at the NMB belonging to the Cipero Marl Formation
(Oligocene-Miocene), Trinidad, at Cipero Coast. Foraminiferal
type sections like those along the Cipero Coast served at standardization
of taxonomy and geological age information in earth sciences.
The Cipero coast is one of several such classical locations in
Trinidad for tropical biostratigraphy and worldwide correlation,
that were elaborated from microfossil occurrences by specialists
since the 1040ies. They helped to erect nowadays globally used
foraminiferal zonal schemes, that became integrated in biogeochronological
time-scales in earth sciences.
- As an example of how the anticipated age model from the Cipero-Coast
can be applied for the solution of scientific questions we measure
morphological shell parameters of representatives of the planktonic
foraminiferal lineage Globorotalia praescitula - archeomenardii
- praemenardii in order to study their evolutionary development
into the descendent and now well-studied Neogene tropical Globorotalia
menardii. Planktonic foraminifera are calcite shells secreting
floating protists in the oceans, that are well suited for such
investigations about the evolution of organisms. Particularly
for this project, we use type- and cotype samples from the Cipero
coast from NMB collections.
- More information:
- About Kugler archives:
- About collections held at NMB:
- About morphological evolution of menardiform globorotalids:
- About planktonic foraminifera: