Subtidal occurrences of ladder-back ripples: their significance in palaeo-environmental reconstruction



Ladder-back ripples are common on modern intertidal flats and have been thought to be diagnostic of deposition in this environment. Recognition of superimposed, asymmetric ladder-back ripples in a subtidal back-barrier estuary and superimposed, symmetric ladder-back ripples in an embayed, shallow marine environment indicates that these features are not diagnostic of deposition in the intertidal zone only, but can occur in other depositional environments, produced by different mechanisms and on different scales. The presence of ladder-back ripples in the subtidal zones challenges aspects of a model used to determine the palaeotidal range of ancient tidal sequences.