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Taphonomy and paleoecology of nonmarine mollusca: indicators of alluvial plain lacustrine sedimentation, upper part of the Tongue River Member, Fort Union Formation ( Paleocene), Northern Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana ( USA).

Palaios

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Abstract

The composition, species abundances, and spatial and temporal distributions of mollusc assemblages were controlled by the environments in which they lived and the depositional processes that affected the molluscs after death and before final burial. Post-mortem transport, reworking and concentration of shells, and mixing of faunal elements from discrete habitats produced a taphonomic 'overprint' on assemblage characteristics that directly reflects the processes of alluvial plain and floodbasin lacustrine sedimentation. The 'overprint' can be interpreted from outcrop analysis of molluscan biofabric, which consists of: 1) orientation, fragmentation, size-sorting, abrasion, density, and dispersion of shells, 2) the nature and extent of shell-infilling, and 3) ratio of articulated to disarticulated bivalves. Taphonomic characteristics were used with sedimentological properties to differentiate in-place, reworked, transported, and ecologically mixed mollusc assemblages. This study also defines the paleoecology of habitat preferences of mollusc species as a basis for recognition of the environments in which these assemblages were deposited: 1) large floodbasin lakes, 2) small floodbasin lakes, and 3) crevasse deltas and splays. Integration of sedimentology and paleoecology provides an interdisciplinary approach to the interpretation of alluvial environments through time in the Tongue River Member. -Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Taphonomy and paleoecology of nonmarine mollusca: indicators of alluvial plain lacustrine sedimentation, upper part of the Tongue River Member, Fort Union Formation ( Paleocene), Northern Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana ( USA).
Series title:
Palaios
Volume
2
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1987
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Palaios
First page:
479
Last page:
496
Number of Pages:
18