A continuous 10-m-long section consisting of roughly two thirds Ethmodiscus rex (a diatom) and one third mixed planktonic foraminifera was identified in a core from 3800 m depth at 9 degrees S on the Indian Ocean's 90 degrees E Ridge. Radiocarbon dates place the onset of deposition of this layer at >30,000 years B.P. and its termination at close to 11,000 years B.P. However, precise dating of the foraminifera from the Ethmodiscus layer itself proved to be impossible owing to the presence of secondary calcite presumably precipitated from the pore waters. During the Holocene, high calcium carbonate content ooze free of diatoms was deposited at this locale. As the site currently lies beneath the pathway taken by upper ocean waters entering the Indian Ocean from the Pacific (via the Indonesian Straits), it appears that during glacial time, thermocline waters moving along this same path provided the silica and other nutrients required by these diatoms.
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