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During Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 329, pelagic sediments were drilled in the abyssal environments of the South Pacific Gyre (SPG) (Fig. F1). The SPG is the largest of the ocean gyres and its center is farther from continents than the center of any other gyre. The SPG contains the largest portion of seafloor that has never been explored with scientific ocean drilling, and paleoceanographic transition of this region is not clearly understood.

At IODP Site U1371, located just south of the southern gyre edge, shipboard study revealed abundant and continuous occurrences of fossil diatoms in cored sediments (Expedition 329 Scientists, 2011). Diatom assemblages provide an essential age-control reference for the detailed examination of paleoceanographic evolution. This report presents diatom occurrences and abundances for the age-diagnostic taxa recovered in cores from Hole U1371D.