Three-dimensional tomographic reconstruction of an exceptionally well preserved ichnological assemblage from the Stainmore Foundation, Carboniferous, UK

Boyd, Christopher (2016) Three-dimensional tomographic reconstruction of an exceptionally well preserved ichnological assemblage from the Stainmore Foundation, Carboniferous, UK. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This Ph.D. thesis addresses current issues with ichnotaxonomic practice, and characterizes an exceptionally well preserved ichnological assemblage from the Carboniferous Stainmore Formation, Northumberland, United Kingdom. Samples were collected from closely localized float representative of various units throughout the succession, which was deposited in a storm-dominated marine shoreface. Three dominant ichnotaxa were selected for three-dimensional morphological analysis due to their complicated morphology and/or unclear taxonomic status: 1) Dactyloidites jordii isp. nov.; 2) Beaconites capronus, and; 3) Neoeione moniliformis comb. nov. Using serial grinding and photography, these ichnotaxa were ground and modelled in true colour. High-resolution models of three taxa produced in this study are the basis of the first complete three-dimensional consideration of the traces, and forms the basis for refined palaeobiological and ethological analysis of these taxa. Dactyloidites jordii isp. nov. is a stellate to palmate burrow composed of numerous long, narrow rays that exhibit three orders of branching arranged into tiered galleries radiating from a central shaft. It is considered to be the feeding structure produced by a vermiform organism. Beaconites capronus is a winding trace with distinctly chevron-shaped, meniscate backfill demonstrated herein to backfill the vertical shafts associated with its burrows in a comparable fashion to the horizontal portion of the burrow. This lack of a surface connection would result in the trace making organism being exposed to low-oxygen porewater. Coping with this porewater dysoxia could be approached by burrowing organisms in a number of ways: 1) revisiting the sediment-water interface; 2) creating periodic shafts; or 3) employing anaerobic metabolism. Neoeione moniliformis was originally introduced as Eione moniliformis, however, the genus Eione Tate, 1859 is a junior homonym of Eione Rafinesque, 1814. This led to the transfer of Eione moniliformis to Parataenidium. Through careful examination and three-dimensional characterization of topotypes, the transfer to Parataenidium moniliformis is demonstrated herein to be problematic, as Parataenidium refers to primarily horizontal burrows with two distinct layers and Eione moniliformis is composed of one distinct level. As such, the new ichnogenus Neoeione is created to accommodate Neoeione moniliformis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12034
Item ID: 12034
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Ichnology, Taxonomy, Carboniferous, UK, Stainmore, Formation
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: England--Northumberland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Ichnology--England--Northumberland; Seismic tomography--England--Northumberland; Paleobiology--England--Northumberland; Geomorphology--England--Northumberland; Three-dimensional imaging in geology--England--Northumberland

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