Locomotion and feeding traces (repichnia and fodichnia) observed on bedding planes of rhythmically bedded subaqueous outwash deposits in the Brazeau sand pit, Nepean, Ontario, Canada, are the first bedding-plane traces described in detail from the western Champlain Sea. The PlanolitesPalaeophycus-like and Taenidium-like traces are cylindrical with circular cross section, smooth sided, unlined, sinuous, sometimes branching, and sometimes meniscate. Organisms producing the traces are tentatively identified as errant polychaetes or nemerteans. The enclosing sediments are rhythmic couplets of alternating fine sand and silt layers overlain by silty clay and fine–medium silt layers. The occurrence of traces within the uppermost portion of the coarse unit, and within the coarser, upper portion of the overlying fine unit, and the rhythmic alternation of coarse and fine layers suggest these deposits may be varves. The traces formed during the more biologically suitable summer months but were preserved only during the latter portion of the summer. Traces are distributed on bedding planes in close association with bedforms and show a high correlation with the substrate and possibly the hydrodynamic regime. This is interpreted as indicating a strong preference in feeding behaviour. The presence of traces in the subaqueous outwash environment necessitates rethinking of the depositional environment to include the presence of errant polychaetes, nemerteans or similar organisms, and the lower life-forms such as epontic algae and bacteria on which they live.

You do not currently have access to this article.