Taphonomic pathways and comparative biofacies and taphofacies in a Recent intertidal/shallow shelf environment

K. H. Meldahl, Karl Flessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The development of taphonomic approaches to facies analysis requires a foundation in facies-based actualistic studies. Modern intertidal and shallow shelf environments at Provincetown Harbor, northern Cape Cod, Massachusetts provide an opportunity to compare patterns and controlling factors in molluscan biofacies and taphofacies distributions. Variation in faunal composition, ecologic variables and taphonomic attributes of molluscan death assemblages produce distinct patterns of environmental zonation: (1) Faunal composition primarily tracks variation in substrate type among environments (sand, rock, peat, and Zostera marina beds). (2) Ecologic variables (equitability, infauna:epifauna ratio, gastropod:bivalve ratio, and predation on M. mercenaria) appear to reflect tidal exposure time. (3) Taphononic attributes (fragmentation, abrasion, corrosion, bioerosion, and encrustation) of the common bivalve M. mercenaria track environmental energy, in particular its effects on the stability and reworking of hardparts at the sediment surface. Shells in different environments proceed along different taphonomic pathways - the order of acquisition of taphonomic features by hardparts. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalLethaia
Volume23
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

biofacies
Mercenaria
bivalve
Bivalvia
bioerosion
epifauna
encrustation
facies analysis
shell (molluscs)
Zostera marina
corrosion
abrasion
marina
reworking
gastropod
zonation
peat
exposure duration
Gastropoda
fragmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Taphonomic pathways and comparative biofacies and taphofacies in a Recent intertidal/shallow shelf environment. / Meldahl, K. H.; Flessa, Karl.

In: Lethaia, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1990, p. 43-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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