Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures in the ca. 1100 ma Terrestrial Midcontinent Rift of North America
Published:January 01, 2012
Nathan D. Sheldon, 2012. "Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures in the ca. 1100 ma Terrestrial Midcontinent Rift of North America", Microbial Mats in Siliciclastic Depositional Systems Through Time, Nora Noffke, Henry Chafetz
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Microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) are primarily known from transitional marine (tidal) and shallow-marine settings. New results from the ca. 1.1 Ga Midcontinent Rift System of North America extend their record into wholly terrestrial depositional settings, including capping paleosols, paludal environments, and alluvial sedimentary units. The MISS are present on both sides of present-day Lake Superior, at Good Harbor Bay, Minnesota, and at Copper Harbor, Michigan, indicating a regionally widespread biosphere. MISS in the Midcontinent Rift System include abraded Kinneyia, pustulose mound structures, multidirectional wave ripples, textured bedding plane surfaces, and stromatolites. Organic carbon is also preserved in MISS from both sides of the rift, and in finely laminated sedimentary strata, indicating that the biosphere extended also into the hinterland. Independent climatic evidence indicates a temperate setting; thus, the new MISS extend both the depositional and environmental niches where MISS are preserved.
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Microbial Mats in Siliciclastic Depositional Systems Through Time
The research field on microbial mats in siliciclastic environmental settings has greatly developed since its establishment by studies of pioneering scientists such as Gisela Gerdes, Wolfgang Krumbein, Jürgen Scheiber, David Bottjer and others. This SEPM Special Publication is the result of the SEPM Research Conference on Sandy Microbial Mats (modern and ancient), which was held in May 21-23, 2010 at Dinosaur Ridge, Denver, Colorado, USA. This volume presents peer reviewed individual case studies on microbial mats and on sedimentary structures (often called “microbially induced sedimentary structures-MISS”) that occur in modern and ancient marine and terrestrial environments. The conference brought together sedimentologists, microbiologists, and paleontologists from 30 countries and all five continents.