Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-78bd46657c-zhxtg Total loading time: 0.253 Render date: 2021-05-08T16:16:03.402Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Article contents

Comparative taphonomy of bivalves and foraminifera from Holocene tidal flat sediments, Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (Northern Gulf of California): taphonomic grades and temporal resolution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2016

Ronald E. Martin
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716
John F. Wehmiller
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716
M. Scott Harris
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716
W. David Liddell
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322

Abstract

We compare the preservation (taphonomic grade) and age of Chione (bivalve) and foraminifera from modern siliciclastic tidal flat sediments of Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (northern Gulf of California). Disarticulated shells of Chione collected from the sediment-water interface of Choya Bay exhibit a substantial range in taphonomic grade and age, several hundred years to ∼80–125 ka based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometer 14C dates and D-Alloisoleucine/L-Isoleucine values. There is not, however, a one-to-one correspondence between age and taphonomic alteration of Chione: old (or young) valves may be highly altered or they may be relatively pristine. In contrast to Chione, most foraminiferal tests at Choya Bay are quite pristine, which suggests a quite young age, but tests are surprisingly old (up to ∼2,000 calendar years based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometer 14C dates).

We suggest that following seasonal pulses in reproduction, some foraminiferal tests are rapidly incorporated into a subsurface shell layer by “Conveyor Belt” deposit feeders and preserved there, while the rest of the reproductive pulse rapidly dissolves. Ultimately, some of these buried tests, along with Chione, are transported back to the surface by biological activity and storms. The much greater range of taphonomic grades and ages among Chione shells suggests that they, unlike foraminifera, are sufficiently large and preservable (low surface/volume ratio and chemical reactivity) to undergo many cycles of degradation, burial, and exhumation before complete destruction. The age of foraminiferal tests indicates that time-averaging of microfossil assemblages at Choya Bay is much more insidious than would be expected considering the relatively pristine state of the tests alone.

Based on our studies, the lower limit of temporal resolution of shallow shelf microfossil assemblages appears to be ∼1000 years. We caution, however, that each depositional setting (taphofacies) should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis before gross generalizations are made. Indeed, the discrepancy between age and taphonomic grade of fossil assemblages at Choya Bay suggests that neither hardpart size or taphonomic grade are infallible indicators of test preservability or likely temporal resolution of the host assemblage, and that the dynamics of hardpart input and loss must also be evaluated.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Paleontological Society 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Aberhan, M., and Fürsich, F. T. 1987. Paleoecology and paleoenvironments of the Pleistocene deposits of Bahia la Choya (Gulf of California, Sonora, Mexico). In Fürsich, F. T., and Flessa, K. W., eds. Ecology, taphonomy, and paleoecology of Recent and Pleistocene molluscan faunas of Bahia la Choya, northern Gulf of California. Zitteliana 18:135163.Google Scholar
Aller, R. C. 1982. Carbonate dissolution in nearshore terrigenous muds: the role of physical and biological reworking. Journal of Geology 90:7995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Atkinson, K. 1969. The association of living foraminifera with algae from the littoral zone, South Cardigan Bay, Wales. Journal of Natural History 3:517542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ben-Yaakov, S. 1973. pH buffering of pore water of recent anoxic marine sediments. Limnology and Oceanography 18:8694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berner, R. A., Scott, M. R., and Thomlinson, C. 1970. Carbonate alkalinity in the pore waters of anoxic marine sediments. Limnology and Oceanography 15:544549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berger, W. H., and Heath, G. R. 1968. Vertical mixing in pelagic sediments. Journal of Marine Research 26:134143.Google Scholar
Bowman, S. 1990. Radiocarbon dating. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
Brandt, D. S. 1989. Taphonomic grades as a classification for fossiliferous assemblages and implications for paleoecology. Palaios 4:303309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brasier, M. D., and Green, O. R. 1993. Winners and losers: stable isotopes and microhabitats of living Archaiadae and Eocene Nummulites (larger foraminifera). Marine Micropaleontology 20:267276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bremer, M. L., and Lohmann, G. P. 1982. Evidence for primary control of the distribution of certain Atlantic Ocean benthic foraminifera by degree of carbonate saturation. Deep-Sea Research 29:987998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brett, C. E., and Baird, G. C. 1986. Comparative taphonomy: a key to paleoenvironmental interpretation based on fossil preservation. Palaios 3:207227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Buchardt, B., and Hansen, H. J. 1977. Oxygen isotope fractionation and algal symbiosis in benthic foraminifera from the Gulf of Elat, Israel. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 26:185194.Google Scholar
Canfield, D. E., and Raiswell, D. R. 1991. Carbonate precipitation and dissolution: its relevance to fossil preservation. pp. 411453In Allison, P. A. and Briggs, D. E. G., eds. Taphonomy: releasing the data locked in the fossil record. Plenum, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Collins, M. J. 1985. Post mortality strength loss in shells of the Recent articulate brachiopod Terebratulina retusa (L.) from the west coast of Scotland. Biostratigraphie du Paleozoique 4:209218.Google Scholar
Corliss, B. H., and Honjo, S. 1981. Dissolution of deep-sea benthonic foraminifera. Micropaleontology 27:356378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cutler, A. H. 1987. Surface textures of shells as taphonomic indicators. In Flessa, K. W., ed. Paleoecology and taphonomy of Recent to Pleistocene intertidal deposits, Gulf of California. Paleontological Society Special Publication No. 2:164176.Google Scholar
Cutler, A. H., and Flessa, K. W. 1990. Fossils out of sequence: computer simulations and strategies for dealing with stratigraphic disorder. Palaios 5:227235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Daley, G. M. 1993. Passive deterioration of shelly material: a study of the Recent eastern Pacific articulate brachiopod Terebratalia transversa Sowerby. Palaios 8:226232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, D. J., Powell, E. N., and Stanton, R. J. 1989. Taphonomic signature as a function of environmental process: shells and shell beds in a hurricane-influenced inlet on the Texas coast. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 72:317356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Driscoll, E. G. 1975. Sediment-animal-water interaction, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Journal of Marine Research 33:275302.Google Scholar
Dubois, L. G., and Prell, W. L. 1988. Effects of carbonate dissolution on the radiocarbon age structure of sediment mixed layers. Deep-Sea Research 35:18751885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feige, A., and Fürsich, F. F. T. 1991. Taphonomy of the Recent molluscs of Bahia la Choya (Gulf of California, Sonora, Mexico). In Fürsich, F. T. and Flessa, K. W., eds. Ecology, taphonomy, and paleoecology of Recent and Pleistocene molluscan faunas of Bahia la Choya, northern Gulf of California. Zitteliana 18:89133.Google Scholar
Flessa, K. W. 1990. The “facts” of mass extinctions. In Sharpton, V. L. and Ward, P. D., eds. Global catastrophes in earth history: an interdiosciplinary conference on impacts, volcanism, and mass mortality. Geological Society of America Special Paper 247:17. Boulder, Colo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flessa, K. W. 1993. Time-averaging and temporal resolution in Recent marine shelly faunas. pp. 933in Kidwell and Behrensmeyer 1993b.Google Scholar
Flessa, K. W., and Brown, T. J. 1983. Selective solution of macroinvertebrate calcareous hard parts: a laboratory study. Lethaia 16:193205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flessa, K. W., and Kowalewski, M. 1994. Shell survival and time-averaging in nearshore and shelf environments: estimates from the radiocarbon literature. Lethaia 27:153165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flessa, K. W., Cutler, A. H., and Meldahl, K. H. 1993. Time and taphonomy: quantitative estimates of time-averaging and stratigraphic disorder in a shallow marine habitat. Paleobiology 19:266286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fürsich, F. T., and Flessa, K. W. 1987. Taphonomy of tidal flat molluscs in the northern Gulf of California: paleoenvironmental analysis despite the perils of preservation. Palaios 2:543559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fürsich, F. T., and Flessa, K. W., eds. 1991. Ecology, taphonomy, and paleoecology of Recent and Pleistocene molluscan faunas of Bahia la Choya, northern Gulf of California. Zitteliana 18:1180.Google Scholar
Holland, S. M. 1995. The stratigraphic distribution of fossils. Paleobiology 21:92109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kidwell, S. M. 1986. Models for fossil concentrations: paleobiologic implications. Paleobiology 12:624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kidwell, S. M. 1989. Stratigraphic condensation of marine transgressive records: origin of major shell deposits in the Miocene of Maryland. Journal of Geology 97:124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kidwell, S. M. 1991. The stratigraphy of shell concentrations. pp. 211290In Allison, P. A. and Briggs, D. E. G., eds. Taphonomy: releasing the data locked in the fossil record. Plenum, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kidwell, S. M. 1993a. Patterns of time-averaging in the shallow marine fossil record. pp. 275300in Kidwell and Behrensmeyer 1993b.Google Scholar
Kidwell, S. M. 1993b. Taphonomic expressions of sedimentary hiatuses: field observations on bioclastic concentrations and sequence anatomy in low, moderate, and high subsidence settings. Geologische Rundschau 82:189202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kidwell, S. M., and Behrensmeyer, A. K. 1993a. Summary: estimates of time-averaging. pp. 301302in Kidwell and Behrensmeyer 1993b.Google Scholar
Kidwell, S. M., and Behrensmeyer, A. K., eds. 1993b. Taphonomic approaches to time resolution in fossil assemblages: Paleontological Society Short Courses in Paleontology No. 6. University of Tennessee, Knoxville.Google Scholar
Kotler, E., Martin, R. E., and Liddell, W. D. 1991. Abrasion-resistance of modern reef-dwelling foraminifera from Discovery Bay, Jamaica—implications for test preservation. pp. 125138in Bain, R., ed. Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas.Google Scholar
Kotler, E., Martin, R. E., and Liddell, W. D. 1992. Experimental analysis of abrasion and dissolution resistance of modern reef-dwelling foraminifera: implications for the preservation of biogenic carbonate. Palaios 7:244276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loubere, P. 1989. Bioturbation and sedimentation rate control of benthic microfossil taxon abundances in surface sediments: a theoretical approach to the analysis of species microhabitats. Marine Micropaleontology 14:317325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loubere, P., and Gary, A. 1990. Taphonomic process and species microhabitats in the living to fossil assemblage transition of deeper water benthic foraminifera. Palaios 5:375381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loubere, P., Gary, A., and Lagoe, M. 1993. Generation of the benthic foraminiferal assemblage: theory and preliminary data. Marine Micropaleontology 20:165181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MacLeod, N., and Keller, G. 1994. Comparative biogeographic analysis of planktic foraminiferal survivorship across the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary. Paleobiology 20:143177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maluf, L. Y. 1983. Physical Oceanography. pp. 2645In Case, T. J. and Cody, M. L., eds. Island biogeography in the Sea of Cortez. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
Marshall, C. R. 1990. Confidence intervals on stratigraphic ranges. Paleobiology 16:110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, R. E. 1993. Time and taphonomy: actualistic evidence for time-averaging of benthic foraminiferal assemblages. pp. 3456in Kidwell and Behrensmeyer 1993b.Google Scholar
Martin, R. E. and Liddell, W. D. 1991. Taphonomy of foraminifera in modern carbonate environments: implications for the formation of foraminiferal assemblages. pp. 170194in Donovan, S. K., ed. Fossilization: the processes of taphonomy. Belhaven, London.Google Scholar
Martin, R. E., Harris, M. S., and Liddell, W. D. 1996. Taphonomy and time-averaging of foraminiferal assemblages in Holocene tidal flat sediments, Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (northern Gulf of California). Marine Micropaleontology (in press).Google Scholar
McCave, I. N. 1988. Biological pumping upwards of the coarse fraction of deep-sea sediments. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 58:148158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meldahl, K. H. 1987. Sedimentologic and taphonomic implications of biogenic stratification. Palaios 2:350358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meldahl, K. H. 1990. Sampling, species abundance, and the stratigraphic signature of mass extinction: a test using Holocene tidal flat molluscs. Geology 18:890893.2.3.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meldahl, K. H. and Flessa, K. W. 1990. Taphonomic pathways and comparative biofacies and taphofacies in a Recent intertidal/shallow shelf environment. Lethaia 23:4360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murray-Wallace, C. V., and Belperio, A. P. 1994. Identification of remanié fossils using amino acid racemisation. Alcheringa 18:219227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Myers, E. H. 1942. A quantitative study of the productivity of the foraminifera in the sea. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 85:325342.Google Scholar
Myers, E. H. 1943. Life activities of foraminifera in relation to marine ecology. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 86:439458.Google Scholar
Pospichal, J. J., Wise, S. W., Asaro, F., and Hamilton, N. 1990. The effects of bioturbation across a biostratigraphically complete high southern latitude Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. In Sharpton, V. L. and Ward, P. D., eds. Global catastrophes in earth history: an interdiosciplinary conference on impacts, volcanism, and mass mortality. Geological Society of America Special Paper 247:497507. Boulder, Colo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Powell, E. N., Cummins, H., Stanton, R. J., and Staff, G. 1984. Estimation of the size of molluscan larval settlement using the death assemblage. Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science 18:367384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Powell, E. N., Staff, G. M., Davies, D. J., and Russell Callender, W. 1989. Macrobenthic death assemblages in modern marine environments: formation, interpretation, and application. CRC Critical Reviews in Aquatic Sciences 1:555589.Google Scholar
Pride, C. J., Dean, W. E., and Thunell, R. C. 1994. Sedimentation in the Gulf of California: fluxes and accumulation rates of biogenic sediments and trace elements. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs 26:A23.Google Scholar
Reiss, Z., and Hottinger, L. 1984. The Gulf of Aqaba: ecological micropaleontology. Springer, Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rhoads, D. C., and Stanley, D. J. 1965. Biogenic graded bedding. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 35:956963.Google Scholar
Robinson, M. K. 1973. Atlas of monthly mean sea surface and subsurface temperatures in the Gulf of California. San Diego Society of Natural History Memoir 5.Google Scholar
Roden, G. I., 1964. Oceanographic aspects of Gulf of California. In van Andel, Tj., and Sjor, G. G., eds. Marine geology of the Gulf of California. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 3:3058. Tulsa, Okla.Google Scholar
Signor, P. W., and Lipps, J. H. 1982. Sampling bias, gradual extinction patterns and catastrophes in the fossil record. In Silver, L. T. and Schulz, P. H., eds. Geological implications of impacts of large asteroids and comets on the Earth. Geological Society of America Special Paper 190:291296. Boulder, Co.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Staff, G. M., Stanton, R. J., Powell, E. N., and Cummins, H. 1986. Time-averaging, taphonomy, and their impact on paleocommunity reconstruction: death assemblages in Texas bays. Geological Society of America Bulletin 97:428443.2.0.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Strauss, D., and Sadler, P. M. 1989. Classical confidence intervals and Bayesian probability estimates for ends of local taxon ranges. Mathematical Geology 21:411427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stuiver, M., and Braziunas, T. F. 1993. Modeling atmospheric 14C influences and 14C ages of marine samples to 10,000 b.c. Radiocarbon 35:137189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stuiver, M., and Polach, H. A. 1977. Discussion: reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19:355363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stuiver, M., and Reimer, P. J. 1993. Extended 14C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 14C age calibration program. Radiocarbon 35:215230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stuiver, M., Pearson, G. W., and Braziunas, T. F. 1986. Radiocarbon age calibration of marine samples back to 9,000 Cal Yr b.c. Radiocarbon 28:9801021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sumpter, L. T. 1987. Grain size and provenance of Bahia la Choya sediments. In Flessa, K. W., ed. Paleoecology and taphonomy of Recent to Pleistocene intertidal deposits, Gulf of California. Paleontological Society Special Publication No. 2:4451.Google Scholar
van Straaten, L. M. J. U. 1952. Biogenic textures and the formation of shell beds in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Proceedings. Series B, Physical Sciences 55:500516.Google Scholar
Walter, L. M., and Burton, E. A. 1990. Dissolution of recent platform carbonate sediments in marine pore fluids. American Journal of Science 290:601643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wehmiller, J. F. 1984a. Interlaboratory comparison of amino acid enantiomeric ratios in fossil Pleistocene mollusks. Quaternary Research 22:109120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wehmiller, J. F. 1984b. Relative and absolute dating of Quaternary mollusks with amino acid racemization: evaluation, applications, questions. pp. 171193in Mahaney, W. C., ed. Quaternary dating methods. Elsevier, Amsterdam.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wehmiller, J. F. 1990. Amino acid racemization: applications in chemical taxonomy and chronostratigraphy of Quaternary fossils. pp. 583608in Carter, J. G., ed. Skeletal biomineralization: Patterns, processes, and evolutionary trends, Vol. 1. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.Google Scholar
Wehmiller, J. F., York, L. L., and Bart, M. L. 1995. Amino acid racemization geochronology of reworked Quaternary mollusks on U.S. Atlantic coast beaches: implications for chronostratigraphy, taphonomy, and coastal sediment transport. Marine Geology 124:303337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Comparative taphonomy of bivalves and foraminifera from Holocene tidal flat sediments, Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (Northern Gulf of California): taphonomic grades and temporal resolution
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Comparative taphonomy of bivalves and foraminifera from Holocene tidal flat sediments, Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (Northern Gulf of California): taphonomic grades and temporal resolution
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Comparative taphonomy of bivalves and foraminifera from Holocene tidal flat sediments, Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (Northern Gulf of California): taphonomic grades and temporal resolution
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *