Palaeoecologic significance of the Callovian-Oxfordian trace fossils of Gangeshwar Dome, Southeast of Bhuj, Mainland Kachchh, India

Nishith BHATT, Satish, J. PATEL


The shallow marine deposits of the Late-Middle Jurassic (Callovian–Oxfordian) Jumara Formation of the Gangeshwar Dome of Mainland Kachchh, India, comprise a succession of ~247 m thick clastic sediments with few non-clastic bands and contain a diverse group of ichnofauna. The succession is subdivided into seven lithofacies, viz., laminated shale-siltstone facies (LSS), sheet sandstone facies (SS), herringbone sandstone facies (HS), bivalve sandstone facies (BS), bioclastic limestone facies (BL), intraformational conglomerate facies (IC) and oolitic limestone facies (OL). The ichnofaunal study shows 29 ichnospecies of 23 ichnogenera including Arenicolites, Bifungites, Bolonia, Chondrites, Didymaulichnus, Diplocraterion, Gyrochorte, Helminthopsis, Isopodichnus, Laevicyclus, Lockeia, Monocraterion, Taenidium, Ophiomorpha, Palaeophycus, Planolites, Phycodes, Protopalaeodictyon, Rhizocorallium, Skolithos, Thalassinoides, Tisoa, and Zoophycos. These trace fossils are distributed among nine ichnocoenose, characterized by Chondrites, Diplocraterion, Gyrochorte, Ophiomorpha, Rhizocorallium, Skolithos, Taenidium, Thalassinoides and Zoophycos. Their occurrence in the facies corresponds to their trophic and ethological properties. The colonisation of the opportunistic Diplocraterion and the Skolithos ichnocoenose shows a high density and marks foreshore/nearshore environmental conditions. The Gyrochorte, the Rhizocorallium, the Taenidium and the Thalassinoides ichnocoenose indicate the typically lower energy zone of the shoreface-offshore region. The Chondrites ichnocoenosis indicates fluctuation in bottom water oxygen while the Zoophycos ichnocoenosis typically exploited a calm water niche in the offshore region. These ichnocoenose recur throughout the sequence and belong to the Skolithos and the Cruziana ichnofacies which marked changes in energy gradient, substrate stability, water depth and mode of life of invertebrate organisms. The study of trace fossil assemblages with sediment characteristics gives a detailed and accurate picture of foreshore to offshore palaeoenvironmental conditions.


trace fossils; Late-Middle Jurassic; ichnocoenose; Gangeshwar Dome; Mainland Kachchh; India

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