A moderately diverse arthropod icnofauna occurs in ?Permian ephemeral lacustrine deposits of the Paganzo Basin that crop out at Bordo Atravesado, Cuesta de Miranda, western Argentina. Sedimentary successions are interpreted as having accumulated in a playa-lake complex. Deposits include three sedimentary facies: (A) laminated siltstone and mudstone: (B) current-rippled cross-laminated very fine grained sandstone: and (C) climbing and wave-rippled cross-laminated fine-grained sandstone deposited by sheet floods under wave influence in the playa-lake complex. Analysis of facies sequences suggests that repeated vertical facies associations result from transgressive regressive episodes of variable time spans. The Bordo Atravesado ichnofauna includes Cruziana problematica, Diplocraterion isp., cf. Diplopadichnus biformis, Kouphichnium? isp., Merostomichnites aicunai, Mirandaichnium famatinense, Monomorphichnus lineatus, Palaeophyeus tubularis, Umfolozia sinuosa and Umfolozia ef. U. longula. The assemblage is largely dominated by arthropod trackways and represents an example of the Scoyenia ichnofacies. Trace fossils are mostly preserved as hypichnial ridges on the soles of facies C beds, being comparatively rare in facies A and B. Ichnofossil preservation was linked to rapid influx of sand via sheet floods entering into the lake. Four taphonomic variants (types 1-4) are recognized, each determined by substrate consistency and time averaging. Type 1 is recorded by the presence of low density assemblages consisting of poorly defined trackways, which suggests that arthropods crawled in soft, probably slightly subaqueous substrates. Type 2 is represented by low to moderate density suites that include sharply defined trackways commonly associated with mud cracks, suggesting that the tracemakers inhabited a firm, desiccated lacustrine substrate. Type 3 displays features of types 1 and 2 and represents palimpsestic bedding surfaces, resulting from the overprint of terrestrial ichnocoenoses over previously formed softground suites. Type 4 differs from type 2 only in that assemblages display a high density of traces, recorded by numerous superimposed trackways, which suggests a major time gap of subaerial exposure before sheet flood entrance. Therefore, type 4 surfaces are mostly interpreted as track imprinted omission surfaces.
Additional publication details
Sedimentary facies and environmental ichnology of a ?Permian playa-lake complex in western Argentina