The Application of Ichnology to Palaeoenvironmental And Stratigraphic Analysis
It has been increasingly realized by sedimentologists in the petroleum industry and academia that integration of ichnological information into sedimentological models, and vice versa, is one of the main means by which we can improve our understanding of ancient depositional environments. This volume aims to provide an analytical review of the ichnology of all major depositional environments and the use of ichnology in biostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic analysis, as well as highly refined palaeoenvironmental studies. The remit of the book is achieved through a combination of review articles and novel research papers that outline methodologies and protocols for improving our understanding of ancient palaeoenvironments. Trace fossils from microscopic borings to dinosaur footprints are considered.
The comprehensive coverage of ancient depositional environments means that the book will be of use as a course text for undergraduates as well as an invaluable reference text for all interested in ichnology whether they are ichnologists, sedimentologists or petroleum geologists by trade.
An Up-to-Date Presentation of Trace Fossils, September 20, 2006
Various authors concentrate on different ichnofossils. I will briefly discuss only two of them.
Droser et al. discuss such trace fossils as Rusophycus and Cruziana, both of which are constructed below the sediment-water interface (p. 393). There are different pathways for the construction of these fossils, depending upon such things as the successive removal of seafloor sand and/or mud, followed by redeposition of either or both sediments. One can infer that the sediment must have been firm enough to preserve the leg imprints of trilobites, yet shallow enough to have underwent subsequent seafloor erosion.
McIlroy (p. 6) supports a modified version of the Seilacherian ichnofacies. He allows for there to be a "patchwork", rather than straightforward succession, of these ichnofacies. This "patchwork" pattern is caused by such things as local seafloor variations in sediment firmness, energy level, bathymetry, etc.