Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Manganese stromatolites in caves; El Soplao (Cantabria, Spain)

Carlos Rossi, Rafael P. Lozano, Nuria Isanta and John Hellstrom
Manganese stromatolites in caves; El Soplao (Cantabria, Spain)
Geology (Boulder) (December 2010) 38 (12): 1119-1122


In the dark regions of caves, the formation of stromatolites is virtually unknown. Although Mn oxide crusts presumably induced by bacteria have been described in some caves, they lack stromatolite features, and the evidence of microbial origin is normally inconclusive. Here we describe for the first time the occurrence of extensive Mn oxide stromatolites formed in the deep interior of a cave. The stromatolites are of decimeter thickness and kilometer extent and show features extremely similar to typical CaCO (sub 3) stromatolites. However, unlike most stromatolites, their biogenicity is supported by the exceptional abundance of fossil microbes. Our data support that the stromatolites were mainly induced by chemolithotrophic Mn-oxidizing microbes, and were formed in a low-gradient water-table stream passage at least approximately 1 m.y. ago. The El Soplao stromatolites (Cantabria, Spain) may contribute to increasing our understanding of microbial life in extreme environments, as well as the role of bacteria in the genesis of modern and ancient Mn deposits.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 38
Serial Issue: 12
Title: Manganese stromatolites in caves; El Soplao (Cantabria, Spain)
Affiliation: Universidad Complutense, Departamento de Petrologia y Geoquimica, Madrid, Spain
Pages: 1119-1122
Published: 201012
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 23
Accession Number: 2011-007990
Categories: Sedimentary petrologyGeochemistry of rocks, soils, and sediments
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010303
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., geol. sketch map
N43°18'37" - N43°18'37", W04°25'10" - W04°25'10"
Secondary Affiliation: Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana, ESP, SpainUniversity of Melbourne, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201105
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal