Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Geological Oceanography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 28417

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Guest Editor
Department of Historical Geology and Palaeontology, Faculty of Geology and Geo-Environment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, 15784 Athens, Greece
Interests: marine geology; climate changes; paleoceanography; geochemistry; petroleum geology; basin analysis; sapropels; coastal and open marine systems; environmental reconstruction; marine sediment dynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Historical Geology and Palaeontology, Faculty of Geology and Geo-Environment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, 15784 Athens, Greece
Interests: paleoclimatology; paleoceanographic proxies; micropaleontology; integrated stratigraphy; marine geology; ocean dynamics; sea-level changes; marginal seas; astronomical frequencies in paleoclimates; extreme geological events
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The tendency for climate to change has been one of the most surprising outcomes of the study of Earth history. Marine geosciences (including marine geology, sedimentology, geochemistry, paleoceanography, paleontology) can record valuable information about past environment, climate, and biota just before, during, and after each climate perturbation. Particularly, certain intervals of the geological record are windows to key episodes in the climate history of the Earth‑life system. Marine geological dynamics such as sea‑level changes, environmental parameters, sedimentary cyclicity, and climate are strongly related through a direct exchange between the oceanographic and atmospheric systems. This Special Issue aims to provide an overview of the interplay of these processes across a variety of settings (coastal to open marine) and timescales (early Mesozoic to modern). Among the priorities are the hydroclimate reconstructions using integrated geochemical and/or paleontological proxies measured from different natural archives. We also encourage contributions outlining the applications of novel techniques that provide important information on this topic.

Dr. George Kontakiotis
Prof. Dr. Assimina Antonarakou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Earth’s orbital sedimentary cyclicity (e.g., sapropels) and its relationship with climate;
  • Hydrological‑sedimentological regime and biotic response to climate‑induced extreme geological events (e.g., MSC, MMCO, PETM);
  • Controls of climate to carbon and water cycles;
  • Application of geochemical (e.g., TEX86, Uk’37, Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Δ47) and paleontological (e.g., corals, foraminifera, nannofossils, otoliths, bivalves, speleothems) proxies to reconstruct environmental parameters (e.g., SST, SSS);
  • Monitoring and modeling the climate system;
  • Marine petroleum geology and exploitation of natural energy resources (e.g., hydrocarbons, gas/oil, methane, mud volcanoes);
  • Paleoceanographic evolution and paleoclimatic changes along both latitudinal and longitudinal gradients;
  • Impact of climate change on open ocean and marginal marine ecosystems;
  • Natural and human (e.g., ocean acidification, water pollution, abnormal foraminiferal types) environmental stressors in marine sedimentary basins;
  • Sea level indicators in Late Quaternary and paleogeographical reconstructions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 182 KiB  
Editorial
Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics
by George Kontakiotis and Assimina Antonarakou
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(7), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070779 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 2062
Abstract
The tendency for climate to change has been one of the most surprising outcomes of the study of Earth history [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

15 pages, 4550 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical Property Indexes of Sediment Lixiviums in Sea–Land Interaction Zone of Subei Basin and Their Significance to Transgression
by Qiang Shu, Shunjie Zhang and Ye Chen
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(7), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070719 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
In current studies, the physicochemical properties of water, such as total dissolved solids, salinity, and electrical conductivity, are used mainly to investigate changes in the properties of surface water and groundwater. In our experimental study, we aimed to introduce the physicochemical properties of [...] Read more.
In current studies, the physicochemical properties of water, such as total dissolved solids, salinity, and electrical conductivity, are used mainly to investigate changes in the properties of surface water and groundwater. In our experimental study, we aimed to introduce the physicochemical properties of water bodies into the field of paleoenvironmental changes. We employed the physicochemical property indexes of sediment lixiviums in two research sections of the sea–land interaction zone in the eastern margin of the Subei Basin (China). Preliminary tests determined that the optimal solvent for preparing the sediment lixiviums is ultrapure water; the use of this water can prevent errors caused by soluble solids in the solvent. Using a container with a lid to prepare the sediment lixiviums could reduce errors caused by evaporation. Furthermore, we determined the appropriate process and duration for testing the physicochemical properties of sediment lixiviums. The optimal time for testing the physicochemical properties was 120 h (mixture fully stirred daily) or 168 h (no stirring). The weight of the sediment, volume of the solvent, and test time should be consistent in the same research section. Comparing the physicochemical property indexes of sediment lixiviums with geochemical elements and diatom indicators, we found that these indexes show obvious indications of transgression, and have an obvious advantage in indicating transgression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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23 pages, 1974 KiB  
Article
Latitudinal Differentiation among Modern Planktonic Foraminiferal Populations of Central Mediterranean: Species–Specific Distribution Patterns and Size Variability
by George Kontakiotis, Eirini Efstathiou, Stergios D. Zarkogiannis, Evangelia Besiou and Assimina Antonarakou
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(5), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9050551 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
Studies of the spatial distribution and size of modern planktonic foraminifera are still lacking in the Mediterranean Sea. In this study, 17 core-top sediments collected from a north-south transect along the central Mediterranean have been analyzed for planktonic foraminiferal content, in terms of [...] Read more.
Studies of the spatial distribution and size of modern planktonic foraminifera are still lacking in the Mediterranean Sea. In this study, 17 core-top sediments collected from a north-south transect along the central Mediterranean have been analyzed for planktonic foraminiferal content, in terms of their distributional pattern and intraspecific size variability. Among the analyzed planktonic foraminiferal species, Globigerina bulloides and Globigerinoides ruber (w) were the most abundant, presenting an antagonistic behavior and an overall decreasing trend in their average size values from Adriatic to Ionian sub-basins. Intraspecific differences have been also documented for G. ruber (w), with the dominant sensu stricto morphotype to present generally higher frequencies and more constant shell sizes than sensu lato. The greater size variability of the latter is possibly related to its adaptation in particular hydrographic conditions based on its depth habitat preference and ecological characteristics to reach the (sub)optimum growth conditions. The rest of the species occur in minor percentages and show on average 11% increase with decreasing latitude characterized by distinct species-specific size variations along the transect. Our results show that the relationship between planktonic foraminifera shell size and abundance or sea surface temperature are either absent or weaker than previously reported for other regions and that in central Mediterranean assemblages’ size may be mainly related to nutrient availability. Besides the environmental parameters (sea surface temperature, primary productivity, water depth, stratification), the possible hidden cryptic diversity, still lingers to be consistently determined, could give a better understanding of the geographic and morphological differentiation within the Mediterranean planktonic populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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18 pages, 3300 KiB  
Article
Disruption of the Atlantic Meridional Circulation during Deglacial Climates Inferred from Planktonic Foraminiferal Shell Weights
by Stergios D. Zarkogiannis
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(5), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9050519 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2389
Abstract
Changes in the density structure of the upper oceanic water masses are an important forcing of changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which is believed to widely affect Earth’s climate. However, very little is known about past changes in the density [...] Read more.
Changes in the density structure of the upper oceanic water masses are an important forcing of changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which is believed to widely affect Earth’s climate. However, very little is known about past changes in the density structure of the Atlantic Ocean, despite being extensively studied. The physical controls on planktonic foraminifera calcification are explored here, to obtain a first-order approximation of the horizontal density gradient in the eastern Atlantic during the last 200,000 years. Published records of Globigerina bulloides shells from the North and Tropical eastern Atlantic were complemented by the analysis of a South Atlantic core. The masses of the same species shells from three different dissolution assessed sediment cores along the eastern Atlantic Ocean were converted to seawater density values using a calibration equation. Foraminifera, as planktonic organisms, are subject to the physical properties of the seawater and thus their shells are sensitive to buoyancy forcing through surface temperature and salinity perturbations. By using planktonic foraminifera shell weight as an upper ocean density proxy, two intervals of convergence of the shell masses are identified during cold intervals of the last two deglaciations that may be interpreted as weak ocean density gradients, indicating nearly or completely eliminated meridional circulation, while interhemispheric Atlantic density differences appear to alleviate with the onset of the last interglacial. The results confirm the significance of variations in the density of Atlantic surface waters for meridional circulation changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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13 pages, 8902 KiB  
Article
The Environmental Impact of a Complex Hydrogeological System on Hydrocarbon-Pollutants’ Natural Attenuation: The Case of the Coastal Aquifers in Eleusis, West Attica, Greece
by Panayota Makri, Eleni Stathopoulou, Demetrios Hermides, George Kontakiotis, Stergios D. Zarkogiannis, Hariklia D. Skilodimou, George D. Bathrellos, Assimina Antonarakou and Michael Scoullos
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(12), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121018 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2798
Abstract
The study area is the Thriassion Plain, an important area, in antiquity, surrounding the famous ancient town of Eleusis, 20 km west of Athens. The modern town and port and the entire area were heavily industrialized (1965–1995) coupled with unregulated urban and agricultural [...] Read more.
The study area is the Thriassion Plain, an important area, in antiquity, surrounding the famous ancient town of Eleusis, 20 km west of Athens. The modern town and port and the entire area were heavily industrialized (1965–1995) coupled with unregulated urban and agricultural development. The presence of two crude oil refineries and other oil-related industries have strongly impacted the entire environment, including soils, waters and sediments of the broader area. The purpose of this work is to better understand how a multi-layered groundwater system affects the potential underground spread of certain fuel volatile compounds, namely the BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and total xylenes) as well as their attenuation after their direct or indirect release into the aquifer system. The spatial distribution of BTEX in groundwaters show that they were concentrated mainly in four rather restricted locations. Three of them were spotted, as expected, in the close vicinity of known pollution sources (a military airfield and two crude oil refineries). The other one corresponds to an abandoned site with no outstanding pollution sources where wells exist, eventually used for illegal dumping of oily wastes. It is important that the concentrations decrease significantly from autumn to spring. This decline could be characterized as natural attenuation, related to natural dilution phenomena and a flushing out of pollutants discharging through underwater springs to the sea during the rainy period (October to April). This, in turn, could be associated to the specific geological conditions affecting the hydrology, such as the unconsolidated non-permeable deposits and the multi layered formations of the area’s aquifers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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12 pages, 3371 KiB  
Article
An Improved Cleaning Protocol for Foraminiferal Calcite from Unconsolidated Core Sediments: HyPerCal—A New Practice for Micropaleontological and Paleoclimatic Proxies
by Stergios D. Zarkogiannis, George Kontakiotis, Georgia Gkaniatsa, Venkata S. C. Kuppili, Shashidhara Marathe, Kazimir Wanelik, Vasiliki Lianou, Evanggelia Besiou, Panayiota Makri and Assimina Antonarakou
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(12), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8120998 - 7 Dec 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2411
Abstract
Paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic studies routinely rely on the usage of foraminiferal calcite through faunal, morphometric and physico-chemical proxies. The application of such proxies presupposes the extraction and cleaning of these biomineralized components from ocean sediments in the most efficient way, a process which [...] Read more.
Paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic studies routinely rely on the usage of foraminiferal calcite through faunal, morphometric and physico-chemical proxies. The application of such proxies presupposes the extraction and cleaning of these biomineralized components from ocean sediments in the most efficient way, a process which is often labor intensive and time consuming. In this respect, in this study we performed a systematic experiment for planktonic foraminiferal specimen cleaning using different chemical treatments and evaluated the resulting data of a Late Quaternary gravity core sample from the Aegean Sea. All cleaning procedures adopted here were made on the basis of their minimum potential bias upon foraminiferal proxies, such as the faunal assemblages, degree of fragmentation, stable isotope composition (δ18O and δ13C) and/or Mg/Ca ratios that are frequently used as proxies for surface-ocean climate parameters (e.g., sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity). Six different protocols were tested, involving washing, sieving, and chemical treatment of the samples with hydrogen peroxide and/or sodium hexametaphosphate (Calgon®). Single species foraminifera shell weighing was combined with high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and synchrotron X-ray microtomography (SμCT) of the material processed by each of the cleaning protocols, in order to assess the decontamination degree of specimen’s ultrastructure and interior. It appeared that a good compromise between time and cleaning efficiency is the simultaneous treatment of samples with a mixed hydrogen peroxide and Calgon solution, while the most effective way to almost completely decontaminate the calcareous components from undesirable sedimentary material is a two-step treatment—initially with hydrogen peroxide and subsequently with Calgon solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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19 pages, 5558 KiB  
Article
Advances in the Coastal and Submarine Groundwater Processes: Controls and Environmental Impact on the Thriassion Plain and Eleusis Gulf (Attica, Greece)
by Demetrios Hermides, Panayota Makri, George Kontakiotis and Assimina Antonarakou
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(11), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8110944 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2344
Abstract
This study focuses on the hydrogeological conditions in the coastal (Thriassion plain) and submarine (Eleusis Gulf) environment of West Attica, Greece. Up to now, the predominant aspect for the Thriassion plain groundwater—hosted within the Neogene-Quaternary sediments—was its direct hydraulic contact with the seawater. [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the hydrogeological conditions in the coastal (Thriassion plain) and submarine (Eleusis Gulf) environment of West Attica, Greece. Up to now, the predominant aspect for the Thriassion plain groundwater—hosted within the Neogene-Quaternary sediments—was its direct hydraulic contact with the seawater. Due to that, the coastal plain groundwater is strongly believed to be of brackish quality irrespective of the local hydrodynamic conditions. Our major goal is to evaluate the actual mechanism controlling the groundwater flow, the origin and distribution of saline water, and the existence of fresh groundwater in the submarine environment. We summarize the following: (1) groundwater of the Thriassion plain is partly discharged as an upwards leakage from deeper aquifers, (2) modern direct seawater intrusion is not possible in the Neogene-Quaternary sediments, and (3) fresh groundwater possibly exists below the sea floor of the Eleusis Gulf. The results may serve as hint of further research in groundwater resources below the Mediterranean Sea floor, and, consequently, a new perspective on water resource management could emerge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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17 pages, 5030 KiB  
Article
Evidence of Stable Foraminifera Biomineralization during the Last Two Climate Cycles in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean
by Stergios D. Zarkogiannis, Assimina Antonarakou, Vincent Fernandez, P. Graham Mortyn, George Kontakiotis, Hara Drinia and Mervyn Greaves
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(10), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8100737 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3056
Abstract
Planktonic foraminiferal biomineralization intensity, reflected by the weight of their shell calcite mass, affects global carbonate deposition and is known to follow climatic cycles by being increased during glacial stages and decreased during interglacial stages. Here, we measure the dissolution state and the [...] Read more.
Planktonic foraminiferal biomineralization intensity, reflected by the weight of their shell calcite mass, affects global carbonate deposition and is known to follow climatic cycles by being increased during glacial stages and decreased during interglacial stages. Here, we measure the dissolution state and the mass of the shells of the planktonic foraminifera species Globigerina bulloides from a Tropical Eastern North Atlantic site over the last two glacial–interglacial climatic transitions, and we report no major changes in plankton calcite production with the atmospheric pCO2 variations. We attribute this consistency in foraminifera calcification to the climatic and hydrological stability of the tropical regions. However, we recorded increased shell masses midway through the penultimate deglaciation (Termination II). In order to elucidate the cause of the increased shell weights, we performed δ18O, Mg/Ca, and μCT measurements on the same shells from a number of samples surrounding this event. Compared with the lighter ones, we find that the foraminifera of increased weight are internally contaminated by sediment infilling and that their shell masses respond to local surface seawater density changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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23 pages, 2169 KiB  
Article
Key Environmental Factors Controlling Planktonic Foraminiferal and Pteropod Community’s Response to Late Quaternary Hydroclimate Changes in the South Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean)
by Christina Giamali, George Kontakiotis, Efterpi Koskeridou, Chryssanthi Ioakim and Assimina Antonarakou
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(9), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8090709 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3025
Abstract
A multidisciplinary study was conducted in order to investigate the environmental factors affecting the planktonic foraminiferal and pteropod communities of the south Aegean Sea. Aspects of the Late Quaternary paleoceanographic evolution were revealed by means of quantitative analyses of planktonic foraminiferal and pteropod [...] Read more.
A multidisciplinary study was conducted in order to investigate the environmental factors affecting the planktonic foraminiferal and pteropod communities of the south Aegean Sea. Aspects of the Late Quaternary paleoceanographic evolution were revealed by means of quantitative analyses of planktonic foraminiferal and pteropod assemblages (including multivariate statistical approach; principal component analysis (PCA)), the oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotopic composition of planktonic foraminifera and related paleoceanographic (planktonic paleoclimatic curve (PPC), productivity (E-index), stratification (S-index), seasonality) indices, extracted by the gravity core KIM-2A derived from the submarine area between Kimolos and Sifnos islands. Focusing on the last ~21 calibrated thousands of years before present (ka BP), cold and eutrophicated conditions were identified during the Late Glacial period (21.1–15.7 ka BP) and were followed by warmer and wetter conditions during the deglaciation phase. The beginning of the Holocene was marked by a climatic amelioration and increased seasonality. The more pronounced environmental changes were identified during the deposition of the sapropel sublayers S1a (9.4–7.7 ka BP) and S1b (6.9–6.4 ka BP), with extremely warm and stratified conditions. Pteropod fauna during the sapropel deposition were recorded for the first time in the south Aegean Sea, suggesting arid conditions towards the end of S1a. Besides sea surface temperature (SST), which shows the highest explanatory power for the distribution of the analyzed fauna, water column stratification, primary productivity, and seasonality also control their communities during the Late Quaternary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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27 pages, 8720 KiB  
Article
Sedimentary Facies Analysis, Reservoir Characteristics and Paleogeography Significance of the Early Jurassic to Eocene Carbonates in Epirus (Ionian Zone, Western Greece)
by George Kontakiotis, Leonidas Moforis, Vasileios Karakitsios and Assimina Antonarakou
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(9), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8090706 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4499
Abstract
Sedimentological, micropalaeontological, and marine geological results from the Early Jurassic to Eocene carbonate formations of the Ionian zone, from six localities of Epirus, provide new insights into the basin palaeogeographic evolution and better correlation with coeval analogous tectono-stratigraphic successions along the southern margin [...] Read more.
Sedimentological, micropalaeontological, and marine geological results from the Early Jurassic to Eocene carbonate formations of the Ionian zone, from six localities of Epirus, provide new insights into the basin palaeogeographic evolution and better correlation with coeval analogous tectono-stratigraphic successions along the southern margin of the Neo-Tethys Ocean. Facies analysis allowed the recognition of several microfacies types and their depositional characteristics. During the Early Jurassic, autochthonous carbonates (Pantokrator Limestones) were deposited in shallow-water environment. The overlying (hemi)pelagic Siniais or their lateral equivalent Louros Limestones were deposited to the basin borders and mark the general deepening of the Ionian domain. During Toarcian to Tithonian, the Ionian Basin was characterized by an internal differentiation in small sub-basins with half-graben geometry presenting abrupt thickness and facies changes. The deeper parts were characterized by continuous sedimentation, while the elevated parts were marked by unconformities. The Early Cretaceous marks the homogenization of sedimentation by the deposition of the pelagic Vigla Limestones all over the Ionian zone. The transition from the Early to Late Cretaceous records a significant carbonate diversification in terms of biota assemblages, and related mineralogy due to intense tectonic activity in the region. From Late Cretaceous to Paleogene, allochthonous carbonates were transported to the outer shelf by turbidity currents (calciturbidites) and/or debris flows (limestones with breccia) formed by the gravitational collapse of the platform margin. Additional porosity and bulk density measurements showed that petrophysical behavior of these carbonates are controlled by the depositional environment and further influenced by diagenetic processes. The partly dolomitized neritic Jurassic carbonates, but mainly the Senonian calciturbidites and the microbrecciated Paleocene/Eocene limestones display the higher average porosity values, and therefore present enhanced carbonate reservoir quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
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