Trace fossils in the Cretaceous-Eocene flysch of the Sinop-Boyabat Basin, Central Pontides, Turkey

Alfred Uchman, Nils E. Janbu, Wojciech Nemec

Abstract


Sixty six ichnotaxa have been recognized in Barremian-Lutetian deep-marine deposits o f the Sinop- Boyabat Basin, north-central Turkey, which evolved from a backarc rift into a retroarc foreland, with two episodes of major shallowing. The blackish-grey shales of the Qaglayan Fm (Barremian-Cenomanian) contain lowdiversity traces fossils o f mobile sediment feeders influenced by low oxygenation. One o f the oldest occurrences of Scolicia indicates early adaptation to burrowing in organic-rich mud. The “normal” flysch of the Coniacian- Campanian Yemi^lifay Fm bears a low-diversity Nereites ichnofacies influenced by volcanic activity. The Maastrichtian-Late Palaeocene carbonate flysch of the Akveren Fm contains a Nereites ichnofacies of moderate diversity, which is impoverished in the uppermost part, where tempestites indicate marked shallowing. The overlying variegated muddy flysch of the Atba^i Fm (latest Palaeocene-earliest Eocene) bears an impoverished Nereites ichnofacies, which is attributed to oligotrophy and reduced preservation potential. The sand-rich siliciclastic flysch of the Kusuri Fm ( Early-Middle Eocene) bears a high-diversity Nereites ichnofacies, except for the topmost part, where tempestites and littoral bioclastic limestone reflect rapid shallowing due to the tectonic closure of the basin. The turbiditic channel-fill and proximal lobe facies show a reduced trace-fossil diversity, but abundant Ophiomorpha, which is typical of the Ophiomorpha rudis sub-ichnofacies of the Nereites ichnofacies. The high abundance of Ophiomorpha in the Kusuri Fm and its low abundance in the Akveren Fm are related to plant detritus supply. The Kusuri turbiditic system was fed by a large delta, supplying rich plant detritus, whereas the Akveren system was fed by a carbonate ramp that supplied little or no such material. The extension of the Nereites ichnofacies into the tempestite-bearing neritic deposits at the top of both the Akveren and Kusuri formations indicates the capacity of the deep-water ichnofauna to survive in a rapidly-shoaling restricted basin. Only the topmost shoreface sandstones of the Akveren Fm show sporadic Ophiomorpha ‘Inodosa, a typical shallow-marine trace fossil.

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