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Titolo: The origin of echinoid shell beds in siliciclastic shelf environments: three examples from the Miocene of Sardinia, Italy
Data di pubblicazione: 2015
Abstract: Three mass accumulations of sea urchins from the Miocene of Sardinia show a number of taphonomic features which set them apart from previously described echinoid assemblages from the Cenozoic in which they represent: (1) monotypic assemblages; (2) include very well-preserved remains of either regular or spatangoid echinoids; and (3) originate in deeper water environments. These accumulations are compared using a detailed sedimentological and taphonomic analysis including preservational fabrics, taphonomic signatures, size frequency distributions, density of occurrences and preferred orientations. The possible role of gregarious behaviour contributing to mass occurrences and the specific sedimentary events leading to the excellent preservation are discussed. The interpreted depositional environment of all three deposits is that of a storm-dominated, siliciclastic shelf environment. A phymosomatid assemblage represents rapid burial through obrution of a highly dense, freshly dead community. A Brissopsis-dominated spatangoid assemblage represents a mixed accumulation of parautochthonous and transported skeletons. The third assemblage consisting of regular echinoid spines and rare tests represents a composite tempestite. Differences in the depositional environments are related to their position along onshore offshore gradient with the first two beds originated in a deeper setting than that of the spine accumulation. This study shows that the preservation of assemblages containing complete regular echinoids and spatangoids is higher in deeper water settings than in shallow water environments.
Tipologia:1.1 Articolo in rivista

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