Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Fourth International Ichnofabric Workshop


This guide was prepared for the Fourth International Ichnofabric Workshop (IIW- 4) to be hosted by the Bahamian Field Station and held on San Salvador Island on March 15-22, 1997. About 35 scientists representing 15 countries are registered to attend the workshop.

The focus of discussion in the infonnal scientific sessions will be the uses of ichnofabric analysis in sedimentary geology. An ichnofabric is the texture or internal structure created within a sedimentary substrate from the bioturbating activity of organisms. Ichnofabric analysis is a new and emerging area of ichnology (the study of trace fossils), and its methods are proving useful in enhancing sedimentary facies recognition and interpretations, event correlation, paleoenvironmental and paleoecological reconstructions, reservoir prediction, and more.

Ichnologists are field oriented, and San Salvador Island, with its diverse and largely pristine modem tropical, carbonate environments and well exposed Pleistocene and Holocene rock record, provides provides a fantastic natural laboratory for the study of all aspects of carbonate geology. San Salvador also is a geologically and ichnologically well known island, so proven field localities are readily available. This doesn't mean that new ichnologic discoveries and interpretations won't be forthcoming - they certainly will be, and probably some will occur during the time of the IIW-4 workshop. My colleague Brian White and I have been working in the Bahamas for just over 15 years. We know a great deal about Bahamian geology, but with every field excursion we find something new, and I often think that we have just scratched the surface!

The centerpiece of this guide is the descriptions of six Ichno-localities on San Salvador Island that provide outstanding examples of modem traces or trace fossils and illustrate a veriety of ichnologic principles. In addition, in composite form, the stops provide a good overview of the Pleistocene, Holocene, and modem geology and environments of San Salvador. All of the stops are readily accessible from the main roads on the island. The initial chapter provides a brief introduction to the geology of the Bahamas and San Salvador for first-time visitors. The three chapters at the end of the guide are thematic and designed to expand the ichnologic perspectives to include borer organisms, plant trace fossils, and ichnologic sites in the Bahamas beyond San Salvador. I hope this guide will be useful to a broad spectrum of visitors to the Bahamian Field Station for several years to come, as well as to ichnologists unable to attend this workshop but with an interest in carbonates.

See other Smith authored Field Trip Guides of Gerace Research Centre.


© copyright 1997 by Bahamian Field Station, Ltd.


Archived as published.

Edited by H. Allen Curran

Included in

Geology Commons



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