MARINE AND NORMARINE TRACE FOSSILS AND PLANT ROOTS IN A REGRESSIONAL SETTING (PLEISTOCENE, ITALY)
AbstractThe sedimentary structures occurring in one of the Pleistocene marine terraces at the Ionian coast, indicate a shoaling upward trend from the shoreface of a sandy beach to nonmarine conditions. Four main facies have been recognized. Facies A consists of hummocky cross-bedded sands representing a wave-dominated nearshore environment. Physical and biological structures of facies B are suggestive of an abrupt reduction in energy level, possibly related to the establishment of shallow protected environments. Features of facies C suggest a stable environment of upper shoreface but strongly influenced by continental supplies. Upward, this facies passes into sediments deposited in continental conditions. The last facies (D) is related to moist or wet terrestrial environments. Bioturbation levels of facies A to C are in general low. Facies D, however, is well bioturbated, having an ichnofabric dominated by Taenidium isp. Sparse, vertical roots of vascular plants extended in many cases to at least 3 m below the base of facies D. Particularly unusual is the close association of large Taenidium isp. and vertical roots, where the trace fossil is clustered tightly around the plant, in some cases to more than 1 m below the water-sediment interface.
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