Monday, September 23, 2013

A Look Back…20 Years: Microbes and Carbonates

Geomicrobiology is a rapidly growing field in sedimentary geology.  Yet, 20 years ago this month, Folk presented numerous SEM images that illustrated micro-organisms associated with carbonate sediment and cement from Holocene travertines, hardgrounds, and ooids, and from rocks as well.  The data presented intriguing evidence for the role of micro-organisms in precipitation of carbonate minerals, leading him to conclude “the minute interface between bacteria and carbonate petrology may be lilliputian in scale but are conceivably gargantuan in importance….”

SEM Imaging of Bacteria andNannobacteria in Carbonate Sediments and Rocks by Robert L. Folk, Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 63, p. 990-999.

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