Publication Details

This article was originally published as Haslett, SK, Bryant, EA and Curr, RHF, Tracing Beach Sand Provenance and Transport using Foraminifera: Preliminary Examples from Northwest Europe and Southeast Australia, in Foster, DL (ed), Tracers in Geomorphology, Wiley, 2000, 437-452.


Foraminifera are marine Sarcodine Protozoa that possess tests (shells) that are preservable in the fossil record. These tests may either be constructed using organically cemented detritus (agglutinating or arenaceous forms), or secreted using calcium carbonate (calcareous forms). Their ecology embraces planktonic and benthonic modes, although planktonic forms generally inhabit the open ocean and seldom live in coastal waters in any abundance, while benthonic foraminifera exist on substrates from abyssal plains to high intertidal areas. There are many species of foraminifera that are niche-specific, making them ideal for palaeoenvironmental analysis (Boersma, 1978; Brasier, 1980; Murray, 1991; Culver, 1993).