Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Sedimentary Geology 149:4 (June 1, 2002), pp. 199–218; doi: 10.1016/S0037-0738(01)00173-7


Copyright 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. Used by permission.


Vegetation-induced obstacle marks are described from Dalrymple Bend in the Burdekin River of Queensland, Australia, and their preservation potential is discussed. The bend is divided into a sand- and gravel-covered lower bar, and a vegetated upper bar. Obstacle marks, comprising an erosional scour and a depositional sediment tail, are recognized on the lower bar and the lower margin of the upper bar. Two types of obstacle marks are dominant in the lower part of the lower bar; sediment tail-dominated obstacle marks associated with inclined trees of Melaleuca argentea (Silverleaved Paperbark), and comparatively small obstacle marks around stranded driftwood. Obstacle marks in the upper part of the lower bar are formed around grass clumps armored with mud and gravel. At the lower margin of the upper bar, scours and gravelly sediment tails are recognized around mature tall trees. In these cases, the scour is >4 m in width, and covered with alternating beds of fine sand and mud. Among the obstacle marks described, sediment tail-dominated obstacle marks around groves of M. argentea have the highest preservation potential. Obstacle marks in the lower margin of the upper bar are also considered to have high preservation potential. Obstacle marks around stranded driftwood have the lowest preservation potential. Obstacle marks around grass clumps survive more than 1 year, but their long-term preservation potential is nonetheless low. Implications for the stratigraphic record are also discussed.