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Book Chapter

Assemblages of Biogenic Structures in Marine Shale-Forming Environments and Deep-Water Basins

January 01, 1985


This final section of the volume concerns trace fossil assemblages from deeper water environments that often are oxygen deficient and the sites for significant accumulation of fine-grained sediment. Douglas Jordan's paper describes trace fossil assemblages from Devonian black shales in Kentucky and then illustrates how these assemblages can be used to inteipret paleodepositional environments in shaly basins. The different assemblages are shown to vary with sediment type and color and are thought to be controlled by oxygen availability at the time of deposition. Table 1 presents a synthesis of the occurrence of trace fossils in black shales and the interpreted paleoenvironments and O2 content, and Figure 12 illustrated Jordan's proposed model for the occurrence of trace fossil assemblages in a marine, deep-water basin.

The enigmatic depositional origin of the Ordovician “trilobite shales” of Ohio is the topic of the paper by Danita Brandt Velbel Her study combines ichnologic taphonomic and sedimentologic data to show that these shales were deposited rapidly but not necessarily by turbidity currents. Trace fossils particularly various types of Chondrites are shown to be useful in determining the relative timing of events of deposition.

The paper by Brian Edwards is a comprehensive study of modern bioturbation in sediments at oxygen-deficient, bathyal depths in the Santa Cruz Basin off the southern California coast. Although the basin floor sediments support a high density and diversity of benthic macrofauna traces preserved in the sediment are low in density and diversity Based on his findings from the Santa Cruz Basin Edwards

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SEPM Special Publication

Biogenic Structures: Their Use in Interpreting Depositional Environments

H. Allen Curran
H. Allen Curran
Department of Geology Smith College, Northampton Massachusetts
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
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Publication date:
January 01, 1985




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