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Biological and Mineral Components of an Ancient Stromatolite: Gaoyuzhuang Formation, Mesoproterozoic of China

By
Lee Seong-Joo
Lee Seong-Joo
Department of Earth System Sciences, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
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Stjepko Golubic
Stjepko Golubic
Biological Science Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2000

ABSTRACT

Silicified Mesoproterozoic stratifom stromatolites of the ca. 1400 Ma Gaoyuzhuang Formation in northern China contain microbial fossils preserved in a synsedimentary context rich in carbonate precipitates. Benthic microbial fossils were preserved by early silicification in growth position. Carbonate precipitation took place concurrently with accumulation of fine-grained sediment, and within the time frame of microbial growth and movements. The kinetics of the sedimentary process is thus calibrated by the rates commensurate with the behavioral responses of ancient microorganisms. Since both mineral and organic components of these ancient stromatolites remained preserved, their mutual relationship could be assessed. Extensive microbial growth, mat formation, and accumulation of organic matter required time and indicated the extent of sedimentary pauses. Carbonate precipitation took place in the absence of microorganisms, inhibiting their successful colonization and growth. The interplay between biological and abiotic forces in the formation of Gaoyuzhuang stromatolite permits an approximation of actual rate of carbonate precipitation, which often exceeds that of microbial settlement and growth. The relationship between microbial growth and precipitates in stromatolites under study is generally antagonistic, indicating limited involvement of microbial activities in the precipitation process.

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SEPM Special Publication

Carbonate Sedimentation and Diagenesis in the Evolving Precambrian World

John P. Grotzinger
John P. Grotzinger
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Noel P. James
Noel P. James
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
67
ISBN electronic:
9781565761896
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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