Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 60, December 2014, pp. 55 – 63
1LEAP Energy, Brisbane, Australia
2Petroleum Geoscience Program, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
Abstract: Trace fossil assemblages from a variety of outcropping tidal and shoreface facies in the Belait Formation of Brunei Darussalam were characterized to determine their value in distinguishing shallow marine sedimentary environments on a low energy margin. Most trace fossil assemblages in tide-dominated environments have a proximal Cruziana ichnofacies, although higher energy tidal channels have a distal Skolithos ichnofacies. Tidal sand flats tend to have more diverse and abundant traces than tidal channels. Trace fossils are more abundant in tidal mud flat facies than in tidal channels and sand flats, and whilst mud flat assemblages are more diverse than tidal channel assemblages, they are less diverse than sand flat assemblages. Generally, these assemblages are similar to those in equivalent depositional environments in higher tidal range settings.
Wave-dominated environments also have Cruziana assemblages, except for the upper shoreface that has a distal Skolithos assemblage. Lower shoreface assemblages are more abundant and diverse than upper shoreface assemblages and belong to the proximal Cruziana ichnofacies. Trace fossils are more abundant and diverse in offshore transition facies than in either the upper or lower shoreface and belong to the distal Cruziana ichnofacies; assemblages in interbedded storm sands often include a minor component of the Skolithos ichnofacies. These assemblages are comparable to those from wave-dominated deposits from higher energy settings, except for the upper shoreface environment which contains a lower energy assemblage than in equivalent facies elsewhere.
Trace fossils tend to be less diverse, less abundant and individual traces generally are smaller in tide-dominated depositional environments when compared to wave-dominated depositional environments. Also, Ophiomorpha form complex burrow systems in wave-dominated environments in contrast to simple burrows in tide-dominated environments.
Keywords: Brunei Darulssalam, Beliat Formation, trace fossil, tide-dominated environment, wave-dominated environment