One of the most significant global climatic events in the Cenozoic was the transition from greenhouse to icehouse conditions in Antarctica. Tectonic evolution of the region and gradual cooling at the end of Eocene led to the first appearance of ice sheets at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary (ca. 34 Ma). Here we report geological record of mountain glaciers that preceded major ice sheet formation in Antarctica. A terrestrial, valley-type tillite up to 65 metres thick was revealed between two basaltic lava sequences in the Eocene– Oligocene Point Thomas Formation at Hervé Cove – Breccia Crag in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetland Islands. K-Ar dating of the lavas suggests the age of the glaciation at 45–41 Ma (Middle Eocene). It is the oldest Cenozoic record of alpine glaciers in West Antarctica, providing insight into the onset of glaciation of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
Ostracods from Admiralty Bay on King George Island (South Shetland Islands) represent 29 podocopid species, belonging to 19 genera, one cladocopid and six myodocopid species. They were recovered from Recent marine and/or glacio-marine sediment samples from water depths of up to 520 m. These ostracods constitute a variable assemblage, which is overall typical for the Antarctic environment. Shallow-water assemblages tend to be more variable in terms of frequencies and species richness than deep-water assemblages. The later are low in numbers and remain relatively high diversities. Overall, no linear relation between ostracod assemblage-composition and environmental features analyzed was recognized.
The two bathydraconid species, Gymnodraco acuticeps and Cygnodraco mawsoni, caught in the Ross Sea (Antarctic summer 2002) were examined for internal parasites. All specimens (four G. acuticeps and one C. mawsoni) were infected. G. acuticeps harboured larval Cestoda (bilocular tetraphyllidean cercoids, diphyllobothriid plerocercoids) and Nematoda (Contracaecum spp.), acanthocephalan cystacanths and adult helminths (three species of Digenea and one species of Nematoda). Two specimens of C. mawsoni (including data from one additional specimen examined earlier) were infected by larval Cestoda (bilocular cercoid) and Nematoda (Contracaecum spp.) and adult helminths (three species of Digenea and one species of Nematoda). The present data are compared and discussed with the relevant literature data.
This is a second paper dealing with juvenile and little known Mesozoic gastropods from Siberia and the Timan region. This part contains description of gastropods belonging to Neogastropoda and Heterobranchia. Described are 16 species, five of them are new. They are: Sulcoactaeon uralicus, S. timanicus, S. bojarkensis (Bullinidae), Vasjugania vasjuganensis (Acteonidae), and Biplica siberica (Ringiculidae). The new genus Vasjugania (Acteonidae) is proposed. Eight species are left in the open nomenclature. The protoconch of Siberian Khetella, illustrated here for the first time, suggests that this genus belongs to Purpurinidae and the whole family is a possible stem group for the Neogastropoda. Apart from Khetella the Siberian fauna seems to be of cosmopolitan character having common elements both with Europe and North America.
Research on the chemistry of atmospheric precipitation in the Hornsund region of Svalbard has been extended by analysis of the organic contents. In rainfall samples collected in September 2003, the organics were separated by solid phase extraction (SPE), eluted and analysed on gas chromatograph coupled to a mass selective detector (GC/MS). Rainfall pH was in the range 4.72–5.45, the low values suggesting possible pollution. Concentrations of inorganic ions, expressed as total dissolved salts (TDS), were 5.40–13.18 mg L–1. Non-sea-salt (nss) sulphates were in the range 5–11 μeq L–1. In all samples, long-chain alkanes with chain length up to C36, and their methyl derivatives were detected. Among aromatic compounds biphenyl, dibenzofuran and its methyl derivatives were found. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were represented by naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluorene, acenaphthene, fluoranthene and pyrene. There were no PAHs with higher numbers of rings. The synoptic meteorological conditions in September 2003 indicate that all organic and inorganic pollutants were of local origin.
The total numbers and biomass of bacterioplankton in two Arctic glacial fjords off west Spitsbergen were studied. Samples were collected from different water depth layers – from the surface to 80–90 m depth. Total bacterial number (TBN), biomass and morphological structure (shape of bacteria) were determined using the acridine orange direct count method. The highest values of TBN and biomass in the water column were found in Kongsfjorden in the stations adjacent to Kongsbreen Glacier, and the lowest values in the outer part of the Krossfjorden. The local maxima of bacterioplankton were observed in water layers around pycnocline. The morphological structure was similar in all samples – the bacteria were dominated by rods (over 65%), followed by cocci (16–20%) and vibrios (11–15%).
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