SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

Four different types of pyritized tubes and three types of pyritized burrow fillings are described from Pleistocene glaciomarine sediments in Andfjorden, northern Norway. The tubes and burrows probably originated from tubicolous and burrowing polychaetes respectively. The decomposition of the organic matter in the tubes and burrows created a reducing micro-environment favouring precipitation of pyrite. By comparison with Holocene tubes from marine sediments in Andfjorden and FugloSyfjorden, it is seen that pyritization commenced with isolated spherules. These spherules with incipient pyrite crystals and framboids were formed mainly on the inner wall of the tube. Presence of a monosulphide in the Holocene Fugløyfjorden material suggests that the pyritization process has reached a later phase; the final result would be a completely pyritized trace fossil. It is shown that single pyrite crystals (octahedra) generally attain greater size in the burrow fillings than in the tubes. The microstructure found in some of the pyritized tubes is interpreted as a reflection of the microstructure in the original wall. Finally, the implications for the depositional environment in Pleistocene in Andfjorden is investigated with reference to the benthic skeletal macrofaunal assemblage in the sequence. The pyritized trace fossils occur frequently in an opportunistic assemblage from a period (c. 14,000–13,000 yr BP) characterized by some oxygen deficiency. Later (13,000–10,000 yr BP) they play a minor role in an established assemblage under improved oxygen conditions.