MP9: Chapter 2: Trace Fossils of the Middle Miocene of the El Camp de Tarragona Basin (NE Spain)

From Ichnology: Papers From Ichnia III
by Z. Belaústegui, R. Domènech and J. Martinell.

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This chapter is from GAC's Miscellaneous Publication 9: "Ichnology: Papers from Ichnia III" editted by Dr. Duncan McIlroy. To purchase the entire book on disc, please see the Miscellaneous Publications section of our bookstore at

The Middle Miocene (Serravallian) infill of the El Camp de Tarragona Basin hosts a variety of ichnological assemblages, including both bioturbation (Cylindrichnus, Gyrolithes, Haentzschelinia, Ophiomorpha, Planolites, Schaubcylindrichnus, Sinusichnus, Teichichnus, Thalassinoides and poorly preserved meniscate structures attributed to the activity of spatangoid echinoids) and bioerosion structures (Entobia, Caulostrepsis, Maeandropolydora, Gastrochaenolites and Phrixichnus). Five main ichnological assemblages have been recognized, and these are related to four particular facies and paleoenvironments: These are: A) An ichnological assemblage dominated by Gastrochaenolites and Entobia, observed on bioerosion surfaces, occasionally related to high-energy paleo-cliff facies, or upon invertebrate skeletal remains; B) Cylindrichnus or Thalassinoides ichnological assemblages, commonly associated with outer-platform facies, and interpreted respectively as the result of the intense burrowing activity of terebellid polychaete worms and decapod crustaceans in environments that have low sedimentation rates and low-energy conditions; C) An Ophiomorpha ichnological assemblage, the most common in the El Camp de Tarragona Basin that mainly occurs in association with inner-platform facies deposited under varying energetic conditions; and D) An Ophiomorpha and Haentzschelinia-dominated ichnological assemblage that occurs in sandy siliciclastic units, tentatively interpreted as representing an estuarine facies.

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