Microscale observations of sulfate reduction: Correlation of microbial activity with lithified micritic laminae in modern marine stromatolites

P. T. Visscher, P. R. Reid, B. M. Bebout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

274 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report for the first time micrometer-scale correlation of geologic and microbial processes in modern marine stromatolites. Precipitation of micritic laminae in these stromatolites was studied by comparing microstructure, as observed in petrographic thin sections, with microbial sulfate-reduction activity. Two-dimensional mapping of sulfate-reduction rates was implemented by incubating a vertical section of a stromatolite face on silver foil coated with 35SO2-4. Our results show that sulfate-reduction activity is high in zones of CaCO3 precipitation and indicate that microbial activity produces lithified micritic laminae near the surface of the stromatolites. Similarities with micritic laminae in ancient stromatolites suggest that sulfate reduction may also have been an important mechanism of carbonate precipitation in these fossilized structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-922
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume28
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Calciumcarbonate precipitation
  • Stromatolites
  • Sulfatereduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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