Skip to main content

Non-marine arthropod traces from the subaerial Ordovician Borrowdale Volcanic Group, English Lake District

  • E. W. Johnson (a1), D. E. G. Briggs (a2), R. J. Suthren (a3), J. L. Wright (a2) and S. P. Tunnicliff (a4)...

Arthropod trace fossils are described from the Borrowdale Volcanic Group, a sequence otherwise devoid of faunal evidence. Two forms, both made by the same probably myriapod-like organism, are assigned to the ichnogenera Diplichnites and Diplopodichnus. The lithologies preserving the trace fossils are non-marine and may have been deposited in a freshwater lacustrine environment; some of the traces were probably made in temporarily emergent conditions. The change from one form of trace to the other reflects drying out of the substrate. The trace fossils probably record some of the earliest freshwater arthropods, before the widespread colonization of land by the group.

Hide All
Allison, P. A. & Briggs, D. E. G. 1991. Taphonomy of nonmineralised tissues. In Taphonomy (eds Allison, P. A. & Briggs, D. E. G.), pp. 2670. New York: Plenum.
Bergström, J. 1979. Morphology of fossil arthropods as a guide to phylogenetic relationships. In Arthropod Phylogeny (ed. Gupta, A. P.), pp. 356. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Bradshaw, M. A. 1981. Paleoenvironmental interpretations and systematics of Devonian trace fossils from the Taylor Group (lower Beacon Supergroup), Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 24, 615–52.
Brady, L. F. 1947. Invertebrate tracks from the Coconino Sandstone of Northern Arizona. Journal of Paleontology 21, 466–72.
Branney, M. J. 1988. The subaerial setting of the Ordovician Borrowdale Volcanic Group, English Lake District. Journal of the Geological Society, London 145, 887–90.
Branney, M. J. 1991. Eruption and depositional facies of the Whorneyside Tuff Formation, English Lake District: an exceptionally large-magnitude phreatoplinian eruption. Geological Society of America Bulletin 103, 886–97.
Branney, M. J. & Kokelaar, B. P. 1994. Volcanotectonic faulting, soft-state deformation and rheomorphism of tuffs during development of a piecemeal caldera, English Lake District. Geological Society of America Bulletin, in press.
Branney, M. J. & Soper, N. J. 1988. Ordovician volcano-tectonics in the English Lake District. Journal of the Geological Society, London 145, 367–76.
Briggs, D. E. G., Plint, A. G. & Pickerill, R. K. 1984. Arthropleura trails from the Westphalian of Eastern Canada. Palaeontology 27, 843–55.
Briggs, D. E. G., Rolfe, W. D. I. & Brannan, J. 1979. A giant myriapod trail from the Namurian of Arran, Scotland. Palaeontology 22, 273–91.
British Geological Survey 1991 a. Devoke Water and Ulpha SD 19. Solid and Drift. 1:25000. Southampton: Ordnance Survey for the British Geological Survey.
British Geological Survey 1991 b. Broughton Mills SD 29 SW. Solid and Drift. 1:10000. Keyworth, Nottingham, British Geological Survey.
British Geological Survey 1992. Beathwaite NY 21 SW. Solid and Drift. 1:10000. Keyworth, Nottingham, British Geological Survey.
Chlupáč, I. & Havlíček, V. 1965. Kodymirus n.g. a new aglaspid merostome of the Cambrian of Bohemia. Sbornik Geologickych Ved Paleontologie 6, 720.
Dawson, J. W. 1862. Notice of the discovery of additional remains of land animals in the Coal Measures of the South Joggins, Nova Scotia. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 18, 57.
Dawson, J. W. 1873. Impressions and footprints of aquatic animals and imitative markings, on Carboniferous rocks. American Journal of Science 105, 1624.
Fillion, D. & Pickerill, R. K. 1990. Ichnology of the Upper Cambrian? to Lower Ordovician Bell Island and Wabana groups of eastern Newfoundland, Canada. Palaeontographica Canadiana 7, 119 pp.
Gevers, T. W., Frakes, L. A., Edwards, L. N. & Marzolf, J. E. 1971. Trace Fossils in the Lower Beacon sediments (Devonian) Darwin Mountains, Southern Victoria Land, Antartica. Journal of Paleontology 45, 8194.
Goldring, R. & Seilacher, A. 1971. Limulid undertracks and their sedimentological implications. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie. Abhandlungen 137, 422–42.
Gray, J. 1988. Evolution of the freshwater ecosystem: The fossil record. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 62, 1214.
Gray, J. & Shear, W. 1992. Early life on land. American Scientist 80, 444–56.
Howells, M. F., Reedman, A. J. & Campbell, S. D. G. 1991. Ordovician (Caradoc) marginal basin volcanism in Snowdonia (north-west Wales). London: HMSO for the British Geological Survey, xii+191 pp.
Kneller, B. C. & McConnell, B. J. 1993. The Seathwaite Fell Formation. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WA/93/43.
Kokelaar, B. P., Branney, M. J. & Suthren, R. J. 1990. Excursion A: Shallow basinal sedimentation during a phreatoplinian eruption: the Whorneyside Formation at Sour Milk Gill. In Volcanogenic Sedimentation in Ancient Terrains, Field Guide I: The English Lake District – an Ordovician continental arc. International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior/International Association of Sedimentologists Field Workshop, 08 1990, A1A15.
Lee, M. K. 1989. Upper crustal structure of the Lake District from modelling and image processing of potential field data. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WK/89/1.
Little, C. 1983. The Colonization of Land. Origins and adaptations of terrestrial animals. Cambridge University Press.
Manton, S. M. 1950. The evolution of arthropodan locomotory mechanisms. Part 1. The locomotion of Peripatus. Journal of the Linnean Society (Zoology) 41, 529–70.
McNamara, K. J. & Trewin, N. H. 1993. A euthycarcinoid arthropod from the Silurian of Western Australia. Palaeontology 36, 319–35.
Mitchell, G. H. 1956 a. The geological history of the Lake District. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 30, 407–63.
Mitchell, G. H. 1956 b. The Borrowdale Volcanic Series of the Dunnerdale Fells, Lancashire. Liverpool and Manchester Geological Journal 1, 428–49.
Molyneux, S. G. 1988. Micropalaeontological evidence for the age of the Borrowdale Volcanic group. Geological Magazine 125, 541–2.
Moseley, F. 1978. The Geology of the Lake District: an introductory review. In The Geology of the Lake District (ed. Moseley, F.) pp. 116. Yorkshire Geological Society Occasional Publication number 3. Leeds: Yorkshire Geological Society.
Moseley, F. & Millward, D. 1982. Ordovician volcanicity in the English Lake District. In Igneous Rocks of the British Isles (ed. Sutherland, D.S.), pp. 93111. London: Wiley.
Osgood, R. G. Jr, 1970. Trace fossils of the Cincinnati area. Palaeontographica Americana 6 (41), 280444.
Parks, M. 1992. Caradoc brachiopods from the Leinster Terrane (SE Ireland) – a lost piece of the Iapetus puzzle. Terra Nova 4, 223–30.
Petterson, M. G., Beddow-Stephens, B., Millward, D. & Johnson, E. W. 1992. A pre-caldera plateau-andesite field in the Borrowdale Volcanic Group of the English Lake District. Journal of the Geological Society of the English Lake District 149, 889906.
Scott, R. W. & Kneller, B. C. 1990. A report on the Ashgill and Llandovery age rocks of Sheet 38 (Ambleside). British Geological Survey, Technical Report wa/90/63, 35 pp.
Seilacher, A. 1955. Spuren und Lebenweise der Trilobiten. In Beiträge zur Kenntis des Kambriums in der Salt Range (Pakistan) (Schindewolf, O. H. and Seilacher, A.), pp. 342–72. Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur zu Mainz, Mathematisch-Naturwissen-Schaftliche Klasse, Abhandlungen 10.
Skevington, D. 1970. Graptolites from the Ballymoney area. Appendix in The stratigraphy and the structure of the Ordovician rocks between Courtown and Kilmichael Point, Co. Wexford (Brenchley, P. J. and Treagus, J. E.), pp. 83102. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 69b.
Soper, N. J. & Moseley, F. 1978. Structure. In The Geology of the Lake District (ed. Moseley, F.), pp. 4567. Yorkshire Geological Society Occasional Publication number 3. Leeds: Yorkshire Geological Society.
Taylor, B. J., Burgess, I. C., Land, D. H., Mills, D. A. C., Smith, D. B. & Warren, P. T. 1971. British Regional Geology: Northern England, 4th ed. London: HMSO. 121 pp.
Williams, A., Strachan, I., Bassett, D. A., Dean, W. T., Ingham, J. K., Wright, A. D. & Whittington, H. B. 1972. A Correlation of Ordovician Rocks in the British Isles. Geological Society of London Special Report no. 3, 74 pp.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
  • URL: /core/journals/geological-magazine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed