Morphological Association of Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) as a Paleoenvironmental Indicator: An Example from the Proterozoic Succession of the Southern North China Platform
Published:January 01, 2012
Dong-Jie Tang, Xiao-Ying Shi, Ganqing Jiang, Xin-Qiang Wang, 2012. "Morphological Association of Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) as a Paleoenvironmental Indicator: An Example from the Proterozoic Succession of the Southern North China Platform", Microbial Mats in Siliciclastic Depositional Systems Through Time, Nora Noffke, Henry Chafetz
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The Ruyang (Mesoproterozoic; Pt2) and Luoyu (Neoproterozoic; Pt3) groups in the southern North China Platform are dominated by peritidal siliciclastic rocks and contain abundant microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS), including multidirected and mat-protected ripple marks, mat chips, mat-smoothed ripple marks, various sand cracks, and irregular growth ridges. These MISS can be grouped into four MISS associations, each of which has distinctive MISS morphology resulting from changes in depositional environments. The upper subtidal to lower intertidal zone commonly lacks in situ MISS but contains redeposited mat chips. The upper intertidal zone is characterized by mat-protected ripple marks and mat chips. The lower supratidal zone is rich in various MISS, especially the large and morphologically complex sand cracks indicative of growth of thick mats in microenvironments with low hydrodynamics, sufficient moisture level, and frequently exposed substrates. The upper supratidal zone abounds with small sand cracks formed from relatively thin microbial mats. The morphological associations from tidal-flat deposits of the Ruyang and Luoyu groups are similar to those found in modern siliciclastic coastal environments. Similarities in MISS between modern and Proterozoic tidal flats suggest that the MISS morphological associations can be used for paleogeographical and paleoenvironmental reconstructions, especially in Precambrian siliciclastic successions.
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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.