If you want to study the development of biodiversity from the fossil record
you must be sure you do so within environments. It makes no sense to compare
diversity in a fifteen year old mangrove environment with diversity in a
five million year old coral reef. Characterising environments is therefore
one of the goals of the current expedition. We do so by combining
sedimentological and palaeontological data we retrieve from the layers.
Especially for the Middle and Late Miocene we have been able to get an idea
how the coasts of East Kalimantan looked like. We have found indications for
mangroves, tidal flats, beaches with palm trees, seagrass meadows, subtidal
mudbottoms and a number of coral dominated environments, most of which
occurred in quite muddy waters.
Now that we are getting a grip on the paleoenvironments through time we will
be able to assess the composition and diversity within these environments.
For that the samples will be processed in the forthcoming year for fossil
mollusks, corals, algae, bryozoans and foraminifera.