Abstract

Tubes suspected to be those of vestimentiferan worms are abundant in carbonate boulders at one locality in the lower Oligocene part of the Lincoln Creek Formation along the Canyon River, Grays Harbor County, Washington. The largest tubes exhibit the same general orientation and are arranged in clusters. The tube walls are preserved as aragonite that is, in some cases, replaced by silica. The original tube walls either had a high carbonate content or were indurated very early by aragonite mineralization of the organic wall. The carbonate cements around, on, and inside of the tubes were precipitated due to the microbial oxidation of hydrocarbons at a cold-seep. After lithification, the carbonate fragmented as it slid or slumped, along with other sedimentary debris, downslope into deeper waters. This is one of the few reports of an ancient cold-seep chemosynthetic community dominated by tube worms, and the third report of an allochthonous cold-seep carbonate within a deep-water depositional setting.

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