Micropaleontolgy and Laboratory

A.Y. 2015/2016
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Acquisire le metodologie micropaleontologiche (tafonomia, sistematica, biostratigrafia, paleoecologia) dei principali gruppi di microfossili. Applicazioni dei metodi a: datazioni relative delle rocce sedimentarie, analisi delle facies marine profonde e costiere, e ricostruzioni ambientali, climatiche ed oceanografiche del passato.
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
modulo: Micropaleontologia
Course syllabus
The micropaleontology applied to stratigrafic researches and paleoenvironmental, paleogeographical and paleoceanographical reconstructions. Practical utilisation of micropaleontology in petroleum research. Order Foraminiferida. Short introduction to biology. Principles of classification: types of walls, shells mono-, bi- and plurilocular, shell architecture, apertures and perforations. Systematics of the more common Families and Genera of benthic habitat in sedimentary successions.
Systematics at species level of planktonic foraminifera. Ecology and Paleoecology: the main controlling chemico-physical parameters (turbidity, temperature, oxygenation, depth, latitudes, etc.), paleobathymetric and paleoceanograhic recostructions. Stratigraphic distribution of the various foraminiferal groups and their biostratigraphic resolution.
Subclass Radiolaria. Short introduction to biology, morphology and principles of classification. Ecology and biogeograhic and stratigraphic distribution.
Calpionellids: morphology and principles of classification. Paleoecology and stratigraphic distribution.
Class Ostracoda. Biology. Morphological characters and principles of classification. Ecological significance and utilization in paleoenvironmental reconstructions and stratigraphic distribution. Conodonts, skeletal remains (phosphatic) of protocordata: morphological and natural classification. Paleoecology and stratigraphic distribution.
Coccolitoforids and calcareous Nannofossils. Biology, morphology, principles of classification. Ecology, importance of nannofossils as main components of pelagic sediments and stratigraphic distribution.
Diatoms, silicoflagellates and ebridians: biology, morphology, principles of classification, ecology and their importance in paleoclimatic and paleoceanograhic reconstructions, and stratigraphic distribution. Dinoflagellates, Acritarchs and Tasmanitids: biology, morphology, principles of classification, ecology and stratigraphic distribution.
LABORATORY: Preparation techniques in the laboratories: thin sections from hard rocks and smearslides of nannofossils for the study at the optical microscope; sediment washing for obtaining residues to study foraminifera and ostracods at the stereomicroscope. Analysis at the stereomicroscope: identification of organic and inorganic components in single slides and description of the washed residues. Picking of foraminifera from residues on the basis of their type of walls; description and identification of the main taxonomic characters of the picked specimens using practical kyes. Classification of benthic foraminifera at Suborder, Superfamily, Family and Genus levels using large-scale foraminiferal moulds, atlases, and Taxomorph software for recognizing the diagnostic characters for classification. Paleoenvironmental significance of a benthic foraminiferal assemblage.
Neogene to Recent, Paleogene and Cretaceous planktonic foraminifera: identification of single species and within the residue using atlases. Planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy using distribution charts. Identification of marker species and of biozones on the basis of planktonic foraminiferal assemblage present in washed residues using atlases and distribution charts.
Thin sections: identification of the main genera of larger foraminifera and their stratigraphic significances using atlases.
modulo: Micropaleontologia
GEO/01 - PALEONTOLOGY AND PALEOECOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
unità didattica: Laboratorio di Micropaleontologia
GEO/01 - PALEONTOLOGY AND PALEOECOLOGY - University credits: 3
Practicals: 36 hours