EVAPORITE MICROBIAL FILMS, MATS, MICROBIALITES AND STROMATOLITES

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Evaporitic environments are found in a variety of depositional environments as early as the Archean. The depositional settings, microbial community and mineralogical composition vary significantly as no two settings are identical. The common thread linking all of the settings is that evaporation exceeds precipitation resulting in elevated concentrations of cations and anions that are higher than in oceanic systems. The Dead Sea and Storrs Lake are examples of two diverse modern evaporitic settings as the former is below sea level and the latter is a coastal lake on an island in the Caribbean. Each system varies in water chemistry as ... continued below

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Brigmon, R; Penny Morris, P & Garriet Smith, G January 28, 2008.

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Description

Evaporitic environments are found in a variety of depositional environments as early as the Archean. The depositional settings, microbial community and mineralogical composition vary significantly as no two settings are identical. The common thread linking all of the settings is that evaporation exceeds precipitation resulting in elevated concentrations of cations and anions that are higher than in oceanic systems. The Dead Sea and Storrs Lake are examples of two diverse modern evaporitic settings as the former is below sea level and the latter is a coastal lake on an island in the Caribbean. Each system varies in water chemistry as the Dead Sea dissolved ions originate from surface weathered materials, springs, and aquifers while Storrs Lake dissolved ion concentration is primarily derived from sea water. Consequently some of the ions, i.e., Sr, Ba are found at significantly lower concentrations in Storrs Lake than in the Dead Sea. The origin of the dissolved ions are ultimately responsible for the pH of each system, alkaline versus mildly acidic. Each system exhibits unique biogeochemical properties as the extreme environments select certain microorganisms. Storrs Lake possesses significant biofilms and stromatolitic deposits and the alkalinity varies depending on rainfall and storm activity. The microbial community Storrs Lake is much more diverse and active than those observed in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea waters are mildly acidic, lack stromatolites, and possess a lower density of microbial populations. The general absence of microbial and biofilm fossilization is due to the depletion of HCO{sub 3} and slightly acidic pH.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-STI-2008-00049
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 922677
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893536

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  • January 28, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 11:26 p.m.

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Brigmon, R; Penny Morris, P & Garriet Smith, G. EVAPORITE MICROBIAL FILMS, MATS, MICROBIALITES AND STROMATOLITES, book, January 28, 2008; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893536/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.