Anyone clicking on this link before August 29, 2021 will be taken directly to the final version of my article about the neoichnology of Tavira Island. No sign up, registration or fees are required!
What is it about? It is about the present as a key to the past! The distribution of modern ichnoassociations in the Tavira barrier-island system (Ria Formosa, Algarve, Portugal) is mapped using a GPS-equipped camera. 36 ichnites are identified, including modern analogues of the trace fossils Archaeonassa, Avipeda, Diopatrichnus, Diplocraterion, Entobia, Laterigradus, Lockeia, Lumbricaria, Monocraterion, Oichnus, Polykladichnus, Protovirgularia, Psilonichnus, Rusophycus, Skolithos and Haplotichnus. These traces form 15 ichnoassociations, each of which is linked with a well-constrained depositional setting. Ichnoassociations of the wave-swept fore-barrier foreshore are characterized by low diversity and bioturbation intensity, whereas those of the back-barrier (protected) tidal flats display high diversity and bioturbation intensity. This asymmetrical distribution is primarily explained by hydrodynamics, deriving from the sheltering role of the barrier. Emersion time and substrate cohesiveness also play an important structuring role in the distribution of the Tavira Island ichnoassociations. Ichnoassociation mapping allows to define a predictive model of ichnoassociation distribution, providing an immediately applicable tool for palaeoenvironmental reconstitutions of barrier-island systems.