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GEOREF RECORD

Self-sedimented diatom mats as agents of exceptional fossil preservation in the Oligocene Florissant Lake Beds, Colorado, United States

Ian C. Harding and Loraine S. Chant
Self-sedimented diatom mats as agents of exceptional fossil preservation in the Oligocene Florissant Lake Beds, Colorado, United States
Geology (Boulder) (March 2000) 28 (3): 195-198

Abstract

Microbial mats play a major role in the formation of exceptionally preserved fossil deposits by overgrowing and binding organic remains and sedimentary particles. This minimizes hydrodynamic and biological disruption of dead organisms and sedimentary laminae, but published works all implicate prokaryotic cyanobacteria as the microbial agent. However, exceptionally well preserved macrofossils of the Oligocene Florissant lake beds (Colorado, United States) are enveloped in matted aggregations of mucous-secreting, pennate diatom frustules. It is suggested that the macrobiota became entrapped in mucous-secreting mats of surface water blooms of planktonic diatoms in lake Florissant. As the mats and the incorporated macrobiota were sedimented out of the water column, the mucosic mats and their associated bacterial communities arrested decay and promoted preservation of refractory tissues. Thus, by a completely different mechanism, the diatom mats fulfilled the same preservational role previously suggested for cyanobacterial mats. This hitherto unrecognized mode of preservation may be an important causative factor in the formation of exceptionally preserved lacustrine fossil biotas.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 28
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Self-sedimented diatom mats as agents of exceptional fossil preservation in the Oligocene Florissant Lake Beds, Colorado, United States
Affiliation: University of Southampton, School of Ocean and Earth Science, Southampton, United Kingdom
Pages: 195-198
Published: 200003
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 34
Accession Number: 2000-021927
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N38°55'00" - N38°55'00", W105°16'60" - W105°16'60"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200007
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