Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (2022 March 2011)
Paper No. 71-2
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

DIVERSE ICHNOFAUNA OF BATHYAL (500-2,000 M) SOFTGROUNDS: DUAL ROV OBSERVATIONS OFFSHORE ISRAEL

BUYNEVICH, Ilya V.1, RUBIN, Maxim2, TSADOK, Rami2, AUSTIN, James A. Jr3, COLEMAN, Dwight4, BEN-AVRAHAM, Zvi2, BALLARD, Robert4, HALL, John5, WALDMANN, Nicholas6, and ASHKAR, Lana2, (1) Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, coast@temple.edu, (2) Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa, 31905, Israel, (3) Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas at Austin, J.J. Pickle Research Campus (ROC), 10100 Burnet Rd. (R2200), Austin, TX 78758-4445, (4) Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, South Ferry Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882, (5) Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem, 95501, Israel, (6) University of Bergen, Bergen, 502047555834, Norway

A diverse suite of vertebrate and invertebrate traces was documented by a tandem of tethered remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) in the bathyal region of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Hours of high-resolution digital video and more than 3,000 screen captures from ROV Hercules were used to locate, identify, and measure traces produced by benthic biota in one of the world’s most oligotrophic marine regions. The aerial distribution of medium-to-large (>10 cm) traces associated with submarine canyons, regions of mass-wasting, and high-sedimentation basins was assessed with video and photography from ROV Argus. The trace-making organisms include adult and juvenile species of fish, cephalopods, gastropods, arthropods, crustaceans, echinoids, holothurians, sessile coelenterates, as well as abundant echiurans and several worm genera. Many tracemakers were observed in the process of producing the structures – a crucial aspect of neoichnological research. In addition to burrow complexes and intricate 1-3-cm-wide graphoglyptid trails typical of Zoophycos and Nereites ichnofacies, biogenic structures include simple feeding, dwelling, and locomotion traces common for outer shelf mud-dominated softgrounds (Cruziana ichnofacies) and isolated stiff/firmground assemblages (Glossifungites). The definition and preservation of these features is a function of their original size, relief (scour depth and elevation of marginal ridges), net sedimentation rate, and age. Some traces may be obliterated, overprinted, or re-excavated by the trace-maker or other species (e.g., dense bioturbation of abandoned structures, use of crustacean burrow complexes by eels for sheltering and feeding, localized re-suspension of the upper sediment layer by fish and squid). Controlled laboratory experiments aimed at reproducing such structures are logistically challenging or impossible due to unique physical or biological requirements. Therefore, deep-sea technology presents exceptional opportunities by not only revealing the traces, but also capturing the identity and behavior of trace-making organisms. In-situ observations and image analysis aid biologists in compiling the census of biota in largely inaccessible parts of the ocean and offer geoscientists important insights into ancient deep-sea ichnocoenoses.

Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (2022 March 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 71--Booth# 8
Paleontology (Posters)
Omni William Penn Hotel: Grand Ballroom
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 1, p. 163

© Copyright 2011 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.