Middle Devonian invertebrate trace fossils from the marginal marine carbonates of the Zachełmie tetrapod tracksite, Holy Cross Mountains, Poland

 

Authors: Niedźwiedzski G, Narkiewicz M, Szrek P

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 89, issue 3; pages: 593 - 606; Received 14 June 2013; Accepted in revised form 7 January 2014; Online 2 April 2014

Keywords: trace fossils, invertebrates, marginal-marine carbonates, Middle Devonian, tetrapod habitats, Central Europe,

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Abstract

The dolomitic deposits of the Middle Devonian Wojciechowice Formation exposed at the tetrapod tracksite in the Zachełmie Quarry in the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland) are characterised by a low diversity of invertebrate trace fossil association. Four ichnoassemblages can be identified in the track-bearing, lower part of the succession. The most conspicuous are trace fossils produced by arthropods (probably crustaceans), which can form distinctive and large horizontal burrows. The described ichnotaxa (cf. Skolithos isp., cf. Balanoglossites isp., Alcyonidiopsis isp., Spongeliomorpha isp., Gordia isp., and Rhizocorallium isp.) are well known from typical marginal-marine and shallow-marine deposits. Nevertheless, the studied assemblages were found in sparsely distributed horizons and are dominated by a single or a few ichnotaxa with locally high trace-densities. Distribution and composition of the trace fossil assemblages probably reflects occurrence of the impoverished, stressed Cruziana ichnofacies. It was affected by changes in water depth with intermittent periods of subaerial exposure connected with salinity fluctuations. The invertebrate trace fossil assemblage, tetrapod tracks and associated sedimentological features point to deposition in a marginal-marine, mostly peritidal and lagoonal environment with minor terrestrial influences.

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