Abstract

Well preserved trace fossils are present in Pleistocene calcarenites of subtidal, beach, and dune facies on San Salvador, Bahamas. Most prominent are irregular boxworks of Ophiomorpha sp. that occur in current-bedded, medium to coarse skeletal calcarenites in association with fossil coral reefs in the subtidal facies. Ophiomorpha sp. also occurs in beds deposited in a tidal delta environment. Found with Ophiomorpha sp., often in abundance, are vertical burrow tubes assigned to Skolithos linearis. Trace fossils are absent from beds of the lower beach facies, but upper beach facies beds (backshore zone) contain distinctive Y-shaped crab burrows, attributed to the burrowing activity of the ghost crab Ocypode quadrata. Rhizocretions formed of calcrete and initiated by plant root systems are present in all facies and are particularly well developed in eolianites of the dune facies. In some cases rhizocretions easily can be confused with trace fossils of invertebrate origin, particularly Ophiomorpha sp. Modern carbonate environments of San Salvador exhibit much trace-making activity and contain analogs for the Pleistocene trace fossils. The implications of these analogs for further interpretation of the trace fossils and their associated paleoenvironments are examined with respect to each trace fossil.--Modified journal abstract.

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