This paper provides an overview of the history of ichnology from both Russian and international perspectives. However, the main purpose of the paper is to review how trace fossils can be used to discern the brackish-water sedimentary environments from their open-marine counterparts. A number of modern studies are presented, including: (1) Kouchibouguac Bay, New Brunswick, Canada; (2) Willapa Bay, Washington, USA; (3) Ogeechee River Estuary, Georgia, USA; and (4) Petitcodiac River estuary, New Brunswick, Canada. Cretaceous examples from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (i.e., McMurray Formation, AB, Canada and Gething Formation, British Columbia, Canada) are provided to test the models derived from the modern estuaries.

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