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Biogenic Sedimentary Structures - Lebensspuren

Lecture Notes
Ichnofossils - Trace Fossils

Burrowing, boring, feeding, and locomotion activities Produce trails, depressions, open burrows, borings


Bioturbation structures - burrows, tracks, trails, root penetration Biostratification structures - stromatolites, graded bedding of biogenic origin Bioerosion structures - borings, scrapings, bite marks Excremental structures - fecal pellets or fecal castings Ethological Classification (see GE 251 Lab Exercise) - Cubichnia, Domichnia, Fodinichnia, Pascichnia, Repichnia


Exogenic (sediment-water interface) or Endogenic (subsurface) Full relief Convex/concave semi-relief

Seilacher's Ichnofacies (1964)

Associations of characteristic trace fossils correlated with depth and bottom conditions Bottom conditions include salinity, substrate consistency, oxygenation Bathymetric interpretations made in association with physical and biogenic sedimentary evidence

Terrestrial Ichnofacies

Scoyenia Ichnofacies (Seilacher, 1967) Carboniferous - Recent Low diversity assemblage of arthropod traces Lined, meniscate feeding structures; crawling traces; vertical dwelling structures Shore zones of ephemeral lakes and streams Associated physical structures dessication cracks, planar & ripple laminae, tool marks, floodplain channel fills

Coprinisphaera Ichnofacies

Trace fossils of bees, ants, beetles, termites Moderate-high diversity & abundance (calichnia; nesting traces)

Nearshore Ichnofacies

Trypanites & Glossifungites Ichnofacies Rocky coasts, hardgrounds, and firm substrates Primary feature is substrate bioerosion (grazing) and dwelling structures (borings) Intergradational with Glossifungites Ichnofacies consisting of mixed burrows and borings

Shelfal Ichnofacies

Skolithos & Cruziana Ichnofacies High energy nearshore to moderate offshore subtidal conditions Suspension feeding traces of vertical, solitary burrows (Skolithos) Suspension and deposit feeding traces, mobile carnivores and scavengers (Cruziana) High diversity of traces

Slope and Basinal Ichnofacies

Zoophycos & Nereites Ichnofacies Low energy, below wave-base and w/o turbidites vs. turbidite facies Broad adaption of Zoophycos; restricted adaption of Nereites Infaunal sediment-ingesting traces and deep burrowing (Zoophycos) Grazing and shallow feeding traces (Nereites)

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