Evidence for 2.0 Ga continental microbial mats in a paleodesert setting

Simpson, Edward L., Heness, Elizabeth, Bumby, Adam, Eriksson, Patrick G., Eriksson, Kenneth A., Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L., Linnevelt, Sarah, Malenda, H. Fitzgerald, Modungwa, Tshepiso, and Okafor, O.J. (2013) Evidence for 2.0 Ga continental microbial mats in a paleodesert setting. Precambrian Research, 237. pp. 36-50.

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Abstract

Early evolved microbial communities characterized the initial biological invasion of Precambrian continental landscapes. In modern arid settings, microbial mats and biological soil crusts are well-developedand stabilize sediment. The Paleoproterozoic Makgabeng Formation in South Africa is one of the oldestand best preserved, dryland systems on Earth. Six types of microbial mat-related structures are nowrecognized within these depositional systems. This paper presents three newly discovered structures that include tufted microbial mat, biological soil crusts, and gas-escape features, in addition to three previously documented structures that include roll up features, sand cracks, and wrinkled features. These discoveries demonstrate that microbial communities were well-established and inhabited diverse continental settings by 2.0 Ga, approximately 200 million years after the onset of the Great Oxidation Event.

Item ID: 33224
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Paleoproterozoic, South Africa, paleo-desert deposits, microbial mats, microbially induced sedimentary structures
ISSN: 1872-7433
Funders: Kutztown University, Kumba-Exxaro, South Africa, National Research Foundation, South Africa, University of Pretoria
Date Deposited: 21 May 2014 23:23
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology) @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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