Sutural amplitude of ammonite shells as a paleoenvironmental indicator



The Sutural Amplitude Index (SAI), obtained by measuring the maximum height of sutural elements and the length of the suture pattern on ammonoid shells, provides a useful indicator of relative habitat depth for ammonoids with similar shell morphotypes. A higher SAI indicates greater septal support for the shell wall against implosion under increased hydrostatic pressures in deeper waters. Relating the sutural amplitude indices of ammonites found in a well-studied depositional basin, such as the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, to morphotype distributions illustrates the utility of this index in bathymetric interpretations. □Ammonoidea, sutures, Sutural Amplitude Index, Cretaceous, Greenhorn Cyclothem. Western Interior.