Stages of Palaeoenvironmental Evolution, Climate and Sea Level Change of the Niger Delta, East Equatorial Atlantic: Novelty from Elemental Tracers, Sedimentary Facies and Pollen Records


This Study Used the Comparative Analysis of 3 Gravity Cores (GCs) Obtained from the Shallow Offshore at ~40 M Water Depth to Reconstruct the Morphological Evolution of the Delta (East Equatorial Atlantic). the Focus of This Study is on the Interpretation of Elemental Tracers and their Justification between These Tracers and Microfossil Data to Understand the Impact of Climate-Sea Level Controls on the Evolution of the Niger Delta during the Late Quaternary. Key Elemental Tracers Comprising Ti, Zr, Fe and S Were Explored to Strengthen This Concept. High Ti/Zr Ratio Values Down-Hole Indicate Fluvial Transport of Terrestrial Components to the Marine Setting (20–11.7 Ka), Whereas High Values of Fe/S Ratio Up-Hole Provide an Extent of Inherent Marine Shale of the Niger Delta (11.7–6.5 Ka). in Addition, the Integrated Multiple Proxy (Mangrove and Hinterland Pollen, Planktonic Foraminifera and Sedimentary Facies) with Elemental Tracer Ratios Provided Robust and Coherent Information for Delineating the Late Glacial (MIS2) Prograding and Interglacial (MIS1) Retrograding Deltaic Transition, Respectively. the overall Trends of the Two Elemental Tracer Ratios (Lower and Mid-Upper Depths of the GCs) Provide a New Distinction on the Depositional Patterns (Prograding and Retrograding Delta) to Determine the Proximal/upper (Clay, Silt and Very Fine Sand) and Distal Offshore/lower Shorefaces (Coarse-Medium Sand), and Gross Palaeoenvironments based on Planktonic Foraminifera Records. These Sequential Records Provide a New Clue as Evidence of the Morphological Evolutionary Stages (Delta Plain, Delta Front and Prodelta) of the Niger Delta Landscape, Gross Palaeoenvironments, and Vegetation Dynamics (Pollen Data) during Two Distinct Time-Bound Intervals (20–6.5 Ka), Which Potentially Delineate the Climate and Sea Level Regime of the Coastal Offshore.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology, Grant None

Keywords and Phrases

elemental tracers; Late Quaternary; Niger Delta evolution; planktonic foraminifera; pollen; sea level-climate change; sedimentary facies

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1477-0911; 0959-6836

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Jan 2023