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GEOREF RECORD

Taphonomic rates of molluscan shells placed in autochthonous assemblages on the Louisiana continental slope

W. Russell Callender, Eric N. Powell and George M. Staff
Taphonomic rates of molluscan shells placed in autochthonous assemblages on the Louisiana continental slope
Palaios (February 1994) 9 (1): 60-73

Abstract

A mixed assemblage of lucinid and mussel shells were placed in mesh bags and left at a site of autochthonous death assemblage formation in a petroleum seep community on the Louisiana upper continental slope for a period of 3 yr. Upon recovery, the shells were assessed for taphonomic alteration and compared to a control assemblage of unaltered shells. The data verify a basic assumption of taphofacies analysis; that evidence of taphonomic processes preserved with the assemblage does in fact document the primary taphonomic processes that biased the assemblage from the original assemblage of living preservable organisms. Significant variability in taphonomic rates existed between shells from locations 10 m apart, as is typical of autochthonous assemblages, so that small-scale variability in the taphonomic process was important. Mussels were more severely altered than lucinids. Mussels were more heavily dissolved, had more altered edges, were more prone to fragmentation and exhibited greater weight loss (=carbonate loss) than did the lucinids. The estimated residence time for mussels on the continental slope is approximately 3 to 15 yr. Lucinids may be indefinitely preserved. The observed discrepancy between the dominance of lucinids at fossil seeps and the frequent dominance of mussels at recent seeps can be explained by biased preservation favoring the lucinids.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 9
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Taphonomic rates of molluscan shells placed in autochthonous assemblages on the Louisiana continental slope
Affiliation: Texas A&M University, Department of Geology, College Station, TX, United States
Pages: 60-73
Published: 199402
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 48
Accession Number: 1995-057757
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 plates, 10 tables
N29°00'00" - N33°00'00", W94°04'60" - W89°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Texas Water Commission, USA, United States
Source Note: Advances in deepsea paleoecology
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 199521
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