Micropalaeontology

Work in the micropalaeontology laboratory is aimed at extracting inorganic-walled microfossils (principally foraminifera, stracods, diatoms and conodonts) from sedimentary rock samples.

The microfossils are used in a range of studies, including biostratigraphical dating, palaeoenvironmental analysis, climate change impacts and studies of biodiversity. Other recent contributions have contributed to the identification and dating of tsunami deposits from Hawaii and Bermuda.

Samples prepared in the laboratory in recent years have ranged in age from Carboniferous to Holocene, and have come from the U.K. and its continental shelf, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador and Antarctica. BGS staff using the micropalaeontology laboratory collaborate with staff in other laboratories, for example for radiocarbon dating.

Example of an Ostracod
Example of Conodonts

The development on non-acid preparation techniques in the palynology laboratory has had the advantage that siliceous microfossils (such as diatoms and radiolaria) can be studied on the same slide as organic-walled microfossils.

Contact

For further information, please contact Dr Stewart Molyneux

See also