Lateral variability of ichnological content in muddy contourites: Weak bottom currents affecting organisms’ behavior

Javier Dorador Rodriguez, Francisco J. Rodríguez-Tovar, Anxo Mena, Gillermo Frances

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although bioturbation is commonly recognized in contourites, only a few studies have analyzed the ichnological content of these deposits in detail. these studies have mainly focused on meso-scale bigradational sequence (a coarsening upward followed by a fining-upward sequence resulting from variations in current velocity). Here we present data from gravitational cores collected along the NW iberian Margin showing systematic variation in ichnological content across proximal to distal depocenters within a large-scale elongated contourite drift. Data demonstrate that tracemakers’ behavior varies depending on the distance relative to the bottom current core. trace fossils are already known to be a useful tool for studying of contouritic deposits and are even used as criterion for differentiating associated facies (e.g., turbidites, debrites), though not without controversy. We propose a mechanism by which the distance to the bottom current core exerts tangible influence on specific macro-benthic tracemaker communities in contourite deposits. This parameter itself reflects
other bottom current features, such as hydrodynamic energy, grain size, nutrient transport, etc. ichnological analysis can thus resolve cryptic features of contourite drift depositional settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17713
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2019

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