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A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. The fluviatile trees next to the shore are the slender eyelashes which fringe it, and the wooded hills and cliffs around are its overhanging brows.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden, 1854)

Abstract

Aquatic nonmarine (i.e., fresh water) deposits can be conveniently subdivided into lotic (running water) and lentic (standing water) environments. Rivers, streams and wave-swept beaches of lakes are mostly lotie; while ponds, lakes and pools are lentic. Such environments often are characterized mistakenly as being devoid of trace-making organisms, and, in many cases, this trait has been utilized to distinguish fresh water from marine deposits in the rock record. However, contrary to this popular belief, modern fluvial and lacustrine environments commonly are inhabited by a diverse assemblage of infaunal and epifaunal organisms, which can and do create preservable biogenic structures.

Little ichnologic work has been done in modern aquatic nonmarine deposits. Recently, however, significant strides have been made to better understand the animal-sediment relationships of such environments (e.g., see Chamberlain, 1975a; Meichior and Ericson, 1979; Fisher, Lick, McCall and Robbins, 1980; Ratcliffe and Fagerstrom, 1980; McCall and Tevesz, 1982; Fisher, 1982; Cohen, 1984).

The physical characteristics of freshwater environments are fairly well known. Fluvial deposits have received in-depth study, and a number of facies models, including characteristic vertical sequences, have been erected (e.g., see Collinson, 1978; Cant, 1982). Lacustrine environments, on the other hand, are much more enigmatic; however, criteria for their recognition have been summarized by several workers (e.g., see Picard and High, 1972; Collinson, 1978b; Pouch and Dean, 1982.

As is the case with marine environments, ichnologic investigations of fresh water deposits have proceeded from two main directions: (1) study of Holocene traces, the organisms that produce them, and

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