Skip to main content Accessibility help

Polychaete palaeoecology in an early Late Ordovician marine astrobleme of Sweden

  • MATS E. ERIKSSON (a1) and ÅSA M. FRISK (a2)


The post-impact Dalby Limestone (Kukruse; Upper Ordovician) of the Tvären crater, southeastern Sweden, has been analysed with regards to polychaetes, as represented by scolecodonts. A palaeoecological succession is observed in the Tvären-2 drill core sequence, as the vacant ecospace was successively filled by a range of benthonic, nektonic and planktonic organisms. Scolecodonts belong to the first non-planktonic groups to appear and constitute one of the most abundant fossil elements. The polychaete assemblage recorded has an overall composition characteristic of that of the Upper Ordovician of Baltoscandia. Oenonites, Vistulella, Mochtyella and the enigmatic ‘Xanioprion’ represent the most common genera, whereas Pteropelta, Protarabellites?, Atraktoprion and Xanioprion are considerably more rare. The assemblage differs from coeval ones particularly in its poorly represented ramphoprionid fauna and the relatively high frequency of ‘Xanioprion’. A taxonomic succession and changes in abundance and relative frequency of different taxa is observed from the deepest part of the crater and upwards towards more shallow water environments. The initial post-impact assemblage does not, however, necessarily represent a benthonic colonization of the crater floor. Instead it seems to be a taphocoenosis, as indicated by its taxonomic correspondence to the rim facies fauna recovered from Dalby Limestone erratics of the Ringsön island. The Tvären succession has yielded considerably richer scolecodont assemblages than hitherto recorded from the approximately coeval Lockne crater, possibly as a consequence of shallower water settings in the former area.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence:


Hide All
Aldridge, R. J., Jeppsson, L. & Dorning, K. J. 1993. Early Silurian oceanic episodes and events. Journal of the Geological Society, London 150, 501–13.
Alvarez, L. W., Alvarez, W., Asaro, F. & Michel, H. V. 1980. Extraterrestrial cause for the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction. Science 208, 1095–108.
Bergström, S. M. 1962. Conodonts from the Ludibundus Limestone (Middle Ordovician) of the Tvären area (S.E. Sweden). Arkiv för Mineralogi och Geologi Band 3, 1, 161.
Bergström, S. M., Chen, X., Gutiérrez-Marco, J. C. & Dronov, A. 2009. The new chronostratigraphic classification of the Ordovician System and its relations to major regional series and stages and to δ13C chemostratigraphy. Lethaia 42, 97107.
Bergström, S. M., Huff, W. D., Kolata, D. R., Yost, D. A. & Hart, C. 1997. A unique Middle Ordovician K-bentonite bed succession at Röstånga, S. Sweden. GFF 119, 231–44.
Bergström, S. M., Larsson, K., Pålsson, C. & Ahlberg, P. 2002. The Almelund Shale, a replacement name for the Upper Didymograptus Shale and the Lower Dicellograptus Shale in the lithostratigraphical classification of the Ordovician succession in Scania, Southern Sweden. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 49, 41–7.
Cockell, C. S. & Bland, P. A. 2005. The evolutionary and ecological benefits of asteroid and comet impacts. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 20, 175–9.
Cockell, C. S., Osinski, G. R. & Lee, P. 2003. The impact crater as a habitat: effects of impact-processing of target materials. Astrobiology 3, 181–91.
Ebbestad, J. O. R. & Högström, A. E. S. 2007. Ordovician of the Siljan District, Sweden. In WOGOGOB 2007, 9th meeting of the Working Group on Ordovician Geology of Baltoscandia. Field Guide and Abstracts (eds Ebbestad, J. O. R., Wickström, L. M. & Högström, A. E. S.), pp. 1–110. Sveriges geologiska undersökning, Rapporter och meddelanden 128.
Eisenack, A. 1939. Einige neue Annelidenreste aus dem Silur und dem Jura des Baltikums. Zeitschrift für Geschiebeforschung und Flachlandsgeologie 15, 153–76.
Eisenack, A. 1975. Beiträge zur Anneliden-Forschung, I. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 150, 227–52.
Eisenack, A. 1976. Mikrofossilen aus dem Vaginatenkalk von Hälludden, Öland. Palaeontographica Abteilung A 154, 181203.
Eller, E. R. 1955. Additional scolecodonts from the Potter Farm Formation of the Devonian of Michigan. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 33, 347–86.
Eriksson, M. 1997. Lower Silurian polychaetaspid polychaetes from Gotland, Sweden. GFF 119, 213–30.
Eriksson, M. E. 2006. The Silurian Ireviken Event and vagile benthic faunal turnovers (Polychaeta; Eunicida) on Gotland, Sweden. GFF 128, 91–5.
Eriksson, M. & Bergman, C. F. 2003. Late Ordovician jawed polychaete faunas of the type Cincinnatian region, U.S.A. Journal of Paleontology 77, 509–23.
Eriksson, M. E., Bergman, C. F. & Jeppsson, L. 2004. Silurian scolecodonts. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 131, 269300.
Eriksson, M. E. & Hints, O. 2009. Vagrant benthos (Annelida; Polychaeta) associated with Upper Ordovician carbonate mud-mounds of subsurface Gotland, Sweden. Geological Magazine 146, 451–62.
Eriksson, M. E., Nilsson, E. K. & Jeppsson, L. 2009. Vertebrate extinctions and reorganizations during the Late Silurian Lau Event. Geology 38, 739–42.
Erwin, D. H. 2001. Lessons from the past: biotic recoveries from mass extinctions. PNAS 98, 5399–403.
Flodén, T., Tunander, P. & Wickman, F. E. 1986. The Tvären Bay structure, an astrobleme in southeastern Sweden. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar 108, 225–34.
Frisk, Å. M. & Ebbestad, J. O. R. 2007. Paragastropods, Tergomya, and Gastropoda (Mollusca) from the Upper Ordovican Dalby Limestone, Sweden. GFF 129 (2), 8399.
Frisk, Å. M. & Ormö, J. 2007. Facies distribution of post- impact sediments in the Ordovician Lockne and Tvären impact craters: indications for unique impact-generated environments. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 42 (11), 1971–84.
Grahn, Y. & Nõlvak, J. 1993. Chitinozoan dating of Ordovician impact events in Sweden and Estonia. A preliminary note. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar 115, 263–4.
Grahn, Y., Nõlvak, J. & Paris, F. 1996. Precise chitinozoan dating of Ordovician impact events in Baltoscandia. Journal of Micropalaeontology 15, 2135.
Hammer, Ø., Harper, D. A. T. & Ryan, P. D. 2001. PAST: Paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica 4, 9 pp.
Hinde, G. J. 1879. On annelid jaws from the Cambro-Silurian, Silurian and Devonian formations in Canada and from the Lower Carboniferous in Scotland. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 35, 370–89.
Hints, O. 1998. Late Viruan (Caradoc) polychaete jaws from North Estonia and the St. Petersburg region. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 43, 471516.
Hints, O. 2000. Ordovician eunicid polychaetes of Estonia and surrounding areas: review of their distribution and diversification. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 113, 4155.
Hints, O. 2001. Distribution of scolecodonts. In Estonian Geological Sections. Valga (10) drill core (ed. Põldvere, A.), pp. 1214. Geological Survey of Estonia, Tallinn.
Hints, O. & Eriksson, M. E. 2007 a. Diversification and biogeography of scolecodont-bearing polychaetes in the Ordovician. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 245, 95114.
Hints, O. & Eriksson, M. E. 2007 b. Biogeography of Ordovician and Silurian scolecodont-bearing polychaetes. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 46 (Suppl.), 181–7.
Hints, O. & Eriksson, M. E. 2010. Ordovician polychaeturid polychaetes: taxonomy, distribution and palaeoecology. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 55 (2), 309–20.
Hints, O., Hints, L., Meidla, T. & Sohar, K. 2003. Biotic effects of the Ordovician Kinnekulle ash-fall recorded in northern Estonia. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 50, 115–23.
Hints, O., Killing, K., Männik, P. & Nestor, V. 2006. Frequency patterns of chitinozoans, scolecodont, and conodonts in the upper Llandovery and lower Wenlock of the Paatsalu core, western Estonia. Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences 55, 128–55.
Hints, O. & Nõlvak, J. 2006. Early Ordovician scolecodont and chitinozoans from Tallinn, North Estonia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 139, 189209.
Jaanusson, V. 1957 a. Unterordovicische Illaeniden aus Skandinavien. Bulletin of the Geological Institutions of the University of Uppsala 37, 79165.
Jaanusson, V. 1957 b. Middle Ordovician ostracodes of central and southern Sweden. Bulletin of the Geological Institutions of the University of Uppsala 37, 173442.
Jeppsson, L. 1998. Silurian oceanic events: summary of general characteristics. In Silurian cycles: Linkages of dynamic stratigraphy with atmospheric, oceanic and tectonic changes (eds Landing, E. & Johnson, M. E.), pp. 239–57. James Hall Centennial Volume. New York State Museum Bulletin no. 491.
Jeppsson, L. 2006. Conodont-based revisions of the Late Ludfordian on Gotland. GFF 127, 273–82.
Kielan-Jaworowska, Z. 1961. On two Ordovician polychaete jaw apparatuses. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 6, 237–59.
Kielan-Jaworowska, Z. 1962. New Ordovician genera of polychaete jaw apparatuses. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 7, 291332.
Kielan-Jaworowska, Z. 1966. Polychaete jaw apparatuses from the Ordovician and the Silurian of Poland and a comparison with modern forms. Palaeontologia Polonica 16, 1152.
Kozłowski, R. 1956. Sur quelques appareils masticateurs des Annélides Polychètes ordoviciens. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 1, 165205.
Kozur, H. W. 1998. Some aspects of the Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) and of the possible causes for the biotic crisis around this boundary. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 143, 227–72.
Lindström, M., Flodén, T., Grahn, Y. & Kathol, B. 1994. Post-impact deposits in Tvären, a marine Middle Ordovician crater south of Stockholm, Sweden. Geological Magazine 131, 91103.
Lindström, M., Flodén, T., Puura, V. & Suuroja, K. 1992. The Kärdla, Tvären and Lockne Craters – possible evidences of an Ordovician asteroid swarm. Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences 41, 4553.
Lindström, M., Ormö, J., Sturkell, E. & von Dalwigk, I. 2005. The Lockne crater: revision and reassessment of structure and impact stratigraphy. In Impact Tectonics (eds Koeberl, C. & Henkel, H.), pp. 357–88. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
Lindström, M., Shuvalov, V. & Ivanov, B. 2005. Lockne crater as a result of marine-target oblique impact. Planetary and Space Science 53, 803–15.
Lindström, M., Sturkell, E. F. F., Torberg, R. & Ormö, J. 1996. The marine impact crater at Lockne, central Sweden. GFF 118, 193206.
Mierzejewski, P. 1978. New placognath Eunicida (Polychaeta) from the Ordovician and Silurian of Poland. Acta Geologica Polonica 28, 273–81.
Ormö, J. 1994. The pre-impact Ordovician stratigraphy of the Tvären Bay impact structure, SE Sweden. GFF 116, 139–44.
Ormö, J., Hill, A., Self-Trail, J. M. & Frisk, Å. M. 2009. A method to determine the end of impact-related sedimentation at marine-target craters: geochemistry and micropaleontology of the transition from resurge to secular deposits at the Lockne, Tvären, and Chesapeake Bay impact structures. 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, USA, abstract no. 1318.
Ormö, J., Sturkell, E. & Lindström, M. 2007. Sedimentological analysis of resurge deposits at the Lockne and Tvären craters: clues to flow dynamics. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 42 (11), 1929–43.
Schallreuter, R. 1983. Sularpschiefer (Mittelordoviz) als Geschiebe in Norddeutschland. Mitteilungen aus dem Geologisch-Paläontologischen Institut der Universität Hamburg 54, 5564.
Schmitz, B., Harper, D. A. T., Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B., Stouge, S., Alwmark, C., Cronholm, A., Bergström, S. M., Tassinari, M. & Xiaofeng, W. 2008. Asteroid breakup linked to the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. Nature Geoscience 1, 4953.
Shuvalov, V., Ormö, J. & Lindström, M. 2005. Hydrocode simulation of the Lockne marine target impact event. In Impact Tectonics (eds Koeberl, C. & Henkel, H.), pp. 405–22. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
Smelror, M. & Dypvik, H. 2006. The sweet aftermath: environmental changes and biotic restoration following the marine Mjølnir impact (Volgian–Ryazanian boundary, Barents Shelf). In Biological Processes Associated with Impact Events (eds Cockell, C., Koeberl, C. & Gilmour, I.), pp. 143–78. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.
Stauffer, C. R. 1933. Middle Ordovician Polychaeta from Minnesota. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 44, 11731218.
Strachan, I. 1959. Graptolites from the Ludibundus beds (Middle Ordovician) of Tvären, Sweden. Bulletin of the Geological Institutions of the University of Uppsala 38, 168.
Sturkell, E. F. F., Ormö, J. Nõlvak, J. & Wallin, Å. 2000. Distant ejecta from the Lockne marine-target impact crater, Sweden. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 35 (5), 929–36.
Szaniawski, H. 1970. Jaw apparatuses of the Ordovician and Silurian polychaetes from the Mielnik borehole. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 15, 445–72.
Szaniawski, H. 1996. Scolecodonts. In Palynology: principles and applications (eds Jansonius, J. & McGregor, D. C.), pp. 337–54. American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Foundation, Volume 1.
Szaniawski, H. & Imajima, M. 1996. Hartminiellidae – living fossils among polychaetes. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 41, 111–25.
Thorslund, P. 1940. On the Chasmops Series of Jemtland and Södermanland (Tvären). Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning C 436, 1191.
Wallin, Å. & Hagenfeldt, S. E. 1996. Biostratigraphical investigation of Middle Ordovician acritarchs in the post-impact sequence in the Tvären-2 core, Sweden. GFF 118, 7982.
Webby, B. D., Cooper, R. A., Bergström, S. M. & Paris, F. 2004. Stratigraphic framework and time slices. In The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (eds Webby, B. D., Paris, F., Droser, M. L. & Percival, I. G.), pp. 41–7. New York: Columbia University Press.
Wickman, F. E. 1988. Possible impacts in Sweden. In Deep drilling in crystalline bedrock (eds Bodén, A. & Eriksson, K. G.), pp. 298327. Berlin: Springer Verlag.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Polychaete palaeoecology in an early Late Ordovician marine astrobleme of Sweden

  • MATS E. ERIKSSON (a1) and ÅSA M. FRISK (a2)


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.