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Environmental pressures influencing living stromatolites in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia

Erica P. Suosaari, R. Pamela Reid, Thalles A. Abreu Araujo, Phillip E. Playford, David K. Holley, Kenneth J. McNamara and Gregor P. Eberli
Environmental pressures influencing living stromatolites in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia
Palaios (October 2016) 31 (10): 483-496

Abstract

Environmental parameters in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay were investigated to characterize extrinsic factors that may be affecting stromatolite morphogenesis. Hamelin Pool, which evolved into a restricted environment during the last few millennia, sustains the world's most extensive and diverse assemblage of modern marine stromatolites. These stromatolites occur in a shallow nearshore facies belt covering over 100 km of coast. Temperature, salinity, water level, and current data collected between 2012 and 2014 have revealed previously undocumented regional and seasonal trends. Regional trends include increasing salinity, greater temperature range, and decreasing energy moving southward from Faure Sill and to the Nilemah Embayment. Seasonal trends reveal paradoxically increased salinities in wet winter months and decreased salinity in dry summer months. When paired with annual tidal cycles, these trends suggest the influx of low salinity groundwater along the Hamelin Pool shelf. Speculation on how the documented environmental parameters may affect stromatolite growth suggests potential impact on morphology, internal fabric, and stromatolite-building microbial communities. These insights into environmental pressures within a living stromatolite system provide a framework for understanding extrinsic factors affecting microbial communities and stromatolite development throughout Earth history.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 31
Serial Issue: 10
Title: Environmental pressures influencing living stromatolites in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia
Affiliation: Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Maimi, FL, United States
Pages: 483-496
Published: 201610
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 69
Accession Number: 2016-098994
Categories: Sedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables, sketch maps
S26°00'00" - S26°00'00", E114°00'00" - E114°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Geological Survey of Western Australia, AUS, AustraliaDepartment of Parks and Wildlife, AUS, AustraliaUniversity of Cambridge, GBR, United Kingdom
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 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201648
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