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Stromatolites forming in acidic hot-spring waters, North Island, New Zealand

Brian Jones, Robin W. Renaut and Michael R. Rosen
Stromatolites forming in acidic hot-spring waters, North Island, New Zealand
Palaios (October 2000) 15 (5): 450-475


Small spicular, columnar, and blade-shaped stromatolites are common features of hot spring and geyser systems in the Taupo Volcanic Zone of North Island, New Zealand. These organosedimentary structures can grow in many settings, where water temperature and pH vary widely. Although most common in neutral and alkaline waters, stromatolites also are forming in several acid-sulfate spring and geyser systems in the Waiotapu geothermal area and at Lake Rotokawa. Growth of these stromatolites is partly mediated by a biota that is dominated by fungi and locally, diatoms. When stromatolites from acidic thermal waters are compared with those from neutral and alkali waters, significant differences in their biota and mineralogy are evident. The biota in stromatolites from the neutral and alkali waters is dominated by prokaryotic bacteria (including cyano-bacteria), whereas stromatolites from acidic waters are dominated by eukaryotic fungi and to a lesser extent, diatoms. Stromatolites in the neutral and alkali thermal waters are formed almost entirely of opaline silica, with calcite laminae present in a few localities. Although stromatolites in the acidic systems also are composed mainly of opaline silica, they contain substantial amounts of kaolinite and, locally, sulfur and/or jarosite. In ancient thermal deposits it may be possible to distinguish stromatolites that grew in acidic waters from those that formed in neutral and alkali systems by considering their preserved biota and mineralogy.

ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 15
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Stromatolites forming in acidic hot-spring waters, North Island, New Zealand
Affiliation: University of Alberta, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Pages: 450-475
Published: 200010
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 93
Accession Number: 2003-032817
Categories: Sedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, sketch map
S38°00'00" - S38°00'00", W177°00'00" - W177°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Saskatchewan, CAN, CanadaInstitute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, NZL, New Zealand
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200311
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