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Trace and soft body fossils from the Pedroche Formation (Ovetian, Lower Cambrian of the Sierra de Córdoba, S Spain) and their relation to the Pedroche event

Geobios - GEOBIOS-LYON 01/2006; 39(4):443-468. DOI: 10.1016/j.geobios.2005.04.004

ABSTRACT The low Lower Cambrian rocks from the Sierra de Córdoba contain one of the best successions in Europe, which consists of well exposed mixed facies with abundant fossil assemblages showing long stratigraphical ranges throughout the Pedroche Formation. These assemblages include diverse Ovetian archaeocyaths, trilobites, small shelly fossils, calcimicrobes, trace fossils and stromatolites. Trace fossils are still poorly known, and thus they are the main objective of this work. Ichnological data are obtained from the Arroyo de Pedroche 1, Arroyo de Pedroche 2 and Puente de Hierro sections. Trace fossils include the ichnogenera Bergaueria, aff. Bilinichnus, Cochlichnus, aff. Cosmorhaphe?, Cylindrichnus, Dactyloidites, Dimorphichnus, Diplichnites, Monocraterion, Palaeophycus, aff. Phycodes, Planolites, Psammichnites, Rusophycus, Skolithos, Torrowangea and Treptichnus, as well as faecal pellets, meniscate trace fossils and others. They are abundant in shales and sandstones, and indicate important changes in the benthic conditions with respect to the underlying Torreárboles Formation. Changes in fossil assemblages within Member I of the Pedroche Formation indicate palaeoecological disruptions, which led to the disappearance of numerous archaeocyath species and the decrease of stromatolite biodiversity. This was followed by dominance of trilobite and brachiopod assemblages, accompanied by trace fossils of the Psammichnites ichnosp. A ichnoassociation. This biotic turnover (Pedroche event) occurred at the lower part of the archaeocyath Zone III, within the Bigotina bivallata biozone. The diagnoses of the ichnospecies Cochlichnus anguineus and Dactyloidites cabanasi are emended.

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    ABSTRACT: The Spiti Basin exposes an excellent section of Neoproterozoic- Cretaceous rocks in the Tethyan Himalaya of Himachal Pradesh. The diverse assemblage of ichnofossils is present in the Cambrian succession of Parahio Valley in the Spiti Basin. In the present study nineteen ichnofossils are reported from the Cambrian succession of Parahio Valley. The ichnofossils includes Bergaueria, Chondrites, Cruziana, Didymaulichnus, Dimorphichnus, Diplichnites, Helminthorhaphe, Merostomichnites, ?Monocraterion, Monomorphichnus, Nereites, Palaeopascichnus, Palaeophycus, Phycodes, Planolites, Rusophycus, Skolithos, Scolicia, Treptichnus etc. along with annelid worm, burrow and scratch marks. The described ichnofossil assemblage indicates that the ichnocenosis is dominated by a high behavioral diversity ranging from suspension to deposit feeders. It seems that the ichnofauna present in the Cambrian succession of this section were mostly produced by trilobite and arthropods, whereas some of them were produced by crustacean, priapulid worm, polychaetes and polyphyletic vermiforms. The distribution pattern of ichnofossils shows increase in taxonomic and morphological diversity up in the section. It further indicates that the availability of nutrients significantly increased their abundance as well as spatial distribution during Cambrian. The presence of Chondrites, Treptichnus, and Phycodes at the basal part of the Cambrian indicates shallow to deep environment with anaerobic condition. Whereas, the complex forms like Rusophycus, Cruziana, Monomorphichnus and Nereites represent shelf to slope environment. The appearance of Skolithos in the upper part reflects well oxygenated high energy condition. The environmental changes in the Parahio Valley during Cambrian period was distinctly marked by an anaerobic to aerobic condition and by a faunal change from endobenthic, soft - bodied, deposit feeders to epibenthic grazers. The present ichnofossils indicates that these sediments were deposited in shallow water marine environment with moderate to low energy conditions. In the present study the Precambrian - Cambrian boundary could not be demarcated due to the paucity of body fossil, as well as microbiota in the lowermost beds. However, the presence of Treptichnus and Phycodes can be considered as a horizon marker for the beginning of Lower Cambrian in this section. The vertical to slightly inclined biogenic structures are commonly recognized from semi-consolidated substrate which are characteristic features of the nearshore/foreshore marine environment, with moderate to high energy conditions. The Cambrian succession of the Parahio Valley can be correlated with the other Cambrian succession of Kashmir, Zanskar and Lesser Himalaya as well as with the other well known sections of the world. Key words: Spiti Basin, Parahio Valley, Cambrian, Ichnofossils.
    04/2013;
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    Early Palaeozoic Biogeography and Palaeogeography, 11/2013: pages 45-58; Geological Society of London Memoir.
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