Microfossil Research

Auckland, New Zealand

Microfossil Research

Auckland, New Zealand
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Wynne J.J.,Northern Arizona University | Bernard E.C.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Sommer S.,Northern Arizona University | Soto-Adames F.N.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | And 6 more authors.
BioScience | Year: 2014

Caves are considered buffered environments in terms of their ability to sustain near-constant microclimatic conditions. However, cave entrance environments are expected to respond rapidly to changing conditions on the surface. Our study documents an assemblage of endemic arthropods that have persisted in Rapa Nui caves, despite a catastrophic ecological shift, overgrazing, and surface ecosystems dominated by invasive species. We discovered eight previously unknown endemic species now restricted to caves - a large contribution to the island's natural history, given its severely depauperate native fauna. Two additional species, identified from a small number of South Pacific islands, probably arrived with early Polynesian colonizers. All of these animals are considered disturbance relicts - species whose distributions are now limited to areas that experienced minimal historical human disturbance. Extinction debts and the interaction of global climate change and invasive species are likely to present an uncertain future for these endemic cavernicoles. © 2014 The Author(s) .

Goff J.,University of New South Wales | Chague-Goff C.,University of New South Wales | Chague-Goff C.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Dominey-Howes D.,University of New South Wales | And 9 more authors.
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2011

The recent 29 September 2009 South Pacific and 27 February 2010 Chilean events are a graphic reminder that the tsunami hazard and risk for the Pacific Ocean region should not be forgotten. Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) generally have short (<150 years) historic records, which means that to understand their tsunami hazard and risk researchers must study evidence for prehistoric events. However, our current state of knowledge of palaeotsunamis in PICs as opposed to their circum-Pacific counterparts is minimal at best. We briefly outline the limited extent of our current knowledge and propose an innovative methodology for future research in the Pacific. Each PIC represents a point source of information in the Pacific Ocean and this would allow their palaeotsunami records to be treated akin to palaeo-DART® (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) buoys. Contemporaneous palaeotsunamis from local, regional and distant sources could be identified by using the spatial distribution of island records throughout the Pacific Ocean in conjunction with robust event chronologies. This would be highly innovative and, more importantly, would help provide the building blocks necessary to achieve more meaningful disaster risk reduction for PICs. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Goff J.,University of New South Wales | Pearce S.,Auckland City Council | Nichol S.L.,University of Auckland | Chague-Goff C.,University of New South Wales | And 2 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2010

A multi-proxy study of sediment cores from Kaituna Bay, Mimiwhangata, in northern New Zealand has produced a record of three palaeotsunamis, dated to around 6500. cal. yr BP, 2800. cal. yr BP, and 1450. AD. These events punctuate a coastal palaeoenvironmental history spanning the last 8000. years or more in which the site progressed from a semi-open lagoon to a freshwater swamp. Proxies used included stratigraphy, geochemistry, palynology, diatoms, foraminifera, geomorphology, and a regional palaeotsunami synthesis. The identification of tsunamigenic sources for these events is tentative. We propose that the two oldest events are associated with a source in the Tonga-Kermadec Trench region, with the most recent possibly associated with the Kuwae caldera collapse in 1452/1453. AD. Palaeotsunami deposits contemporaneous with the estimated age of the three events identified in this study were used to assist in identifying possible source regions. The development of regional and national palaeotsunami databases is in its infancy, but as more data become available, the ability to determine the source, magnitude and frequency of past events will improve. This will greatly enhance our understanding of the regional risk from tsunamis. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Goff J.,University of New South Wales | Nichol S.,University of Auckland | Chague-Goff Catherine C.,University of New South Wales | Horrocks M.,University of Auckland | And 3 more authors.
Marine Geology | Year: 2010

Multiproxy analyses of coastal sediments at Cape Pattisson, Chatham Island, identified evidence of two past tsunamis. The most recent event was the 1868. AD tsunami for which there is a wealth of historical evidence. We argue that the earlier event is most probably the 1604. AD South American tsunami. The chronology for these two events was established using palynological data from the Chatham Island sediments, and historical data from South America. It is unlikely that the exposed coastline of Cape Pattisson preserves evidence of earlier events, but given the historical and palaeotsunami records in South America, it seems likely that many earlier trans-South Pacific tsunamis would have struck the Chatham Islands and possibly mainland New Zealand. This is the first time that sedimentological evidence for a prehistoric trans-South Pacific tsunami has been documented in New Zealand, albeit on an outlying island. In the light of the findings on Chatham Island, a reassessment of the New Zealand palaeotsunami database indicates that there are several possible 1604. AD deposits on the east coast of both mainland islands. Further work needs to be done to determine whether these are indeed associated with the 1604. AD event. This use of data from a country with a relatively long historical record adds immense value to understanding the timing of palaeotsunamis in countries with shorter records. This technique offers an excellent opportunity to evaluate the magnitude and frequency of past trans-South Pacific tsunamis and to assess the risks posed to individual Pacific islands. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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