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Quaternary calcareous nannofossil datums and their chronostratigraphic framework have been discussed over the last 20 y mainly based on their correlation to magnetostratigraphy (Raffi and Rio, 1979; Rio, 1982; Takayama and Sato, 1987) or to oxygen isotope stages (Thierstein et al., 1977; Wei, 1993; Raffi et al., 1993; Raffi, 2002). These studies indicate that Quaternary nannofossil datums show a small diachroneity between different latitudes. However, some studied sections were not completely continuous because of coring problems or were not suitable for high-resolution study because of low sedimentation rate.

In 2005, drilling sites of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 303 in the North Atlantic Ocean were chosen to recover cores that would yield complete and continuous records of millennial-scale environmental variability. This means that the core samples from Expedition 303 are suitable for study of millennial climate variability throughout the Quaternary. The main purpose of this study is to clarify the detailed relationship between Quaternary nannofossil events and oxygen isotope stratigraphy using the continuous Quaternary sedimentary sequence from Site U1308 in the North Atlantic Ocean (Fig. F1).