University of Bristol

The Process of Preservation

  1. Trackmaker makes footprint.
    After this period the tracks become baked by the sun and therefore resistant to erosive forces of wind, rain and tidal waters.
  2. As new deposition occurs, the track acts as a sediment trap until the track is filled.
  3. Extraneous sediment is lost, leaving casts in the prints which will protect the shape of the print.
  4. Lithification of deposited layers has occurred.
  5. Ichnologists use tools to extract the cast and reveal the footprint mould.

Drawing by Myles McLeod after Lockley & Hunt (1995)

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This report was written by Myles J McLeod and was last updated on 21st January 1999