International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 108, Issue 8, pp 2531–2544 | Cite as

Ichnofacies distribution in the Eocene-Early Miocene Petra Tou Romiou outcrop, Cyprus: sea level dynamics and palaeoenvironmental implications in a contourite environment

  • Olmo Miguez-SalasEmail author
  • Francisco J. Rodríguez-Tovar
Original Paper


Ichnological analysis of the carbonate contourite drift at the Petra Tou Romiou outcrop (southern Cyprus) reveals a relationship between sea level dynamics, shoreline position, sedimentation rate, flow hydrodynamics and trace fossil assemblages. The base of the outcrop is composed of chalky deposits showing the Zoophycos ichnofacies attributes. The transition to the first contouritic interval beds is marked by the gradual disappearance of Zoophycos and dominance of horizontal traces. This change is caused by a gradual sea level fall determining an increase in proximity and energy conditions in the environment that favoured the development of distal Cruziana ichnofacies. Upper contouritic interval beds contain abundant burrow systems with vertical components. Increased ichnodiversity, particularly among vertical morphologies, coincides with the appearance of Teichichnus, Gyrolithes and rare Ophiomorpha, revealing a transition to the proximal Cruziana ichnofacies, related with the maintenance of the previous trend toward more proximal and higher energy settings. The differentiated ichnofacies in the Petra Tou Roumiou carbonate drifts are controlled by complex interactions between variable environmental factors with sea level dynamics playing a major role.


Ichnology Contourites Carbonate drift Cruziana ichnofacies Zoophycos ichnofacies Sea level dynamics Cyprus 



This study was funded by project CGL2015-66835-P (Secretaría de Estado de I + D+I, Spain), Research Group RNM-178 (Junta de Andalucía), and Scientific Excellence Unit UCE-2016-05 (Universidad de Granada). The research of Olmo Miguez-Salas is funded through a pre-doctoral grant from the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (Gobierno de España) (Grant no. FPU16/01173). The research was conducted with the “Ichnology and Palaeoenvironment Research Group” (UGR) and “The Drifters Research Group” (RHUL). We would like to thanks Dr. Wolf-Christian Dullo (Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Earth Sciences), and both reviewers (Drs. Uchman and Netto) for comments and suggestions of the previous version of this manuscript.


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© Geologische Vereinigung e.V. (GV) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Estratigrafía y PaleontologíaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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