Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Look Back…50 Years: Tufa and Algae

Recent discoveries of hydrocarbons in pre-salt carbonate deposits of the South Atlantic have generated significant interest in microbial influences on carbonate mineral precipitation. Fifty years ago, Scholland Taft broke with conventional wisdom (“…that inorganic processes of tufa deposition at Mono Lake are so dominant that tufa formation by algae is not significant”) and suggested the important role of algae on mineralization. The careful field, slab, and petrographic observations were interpreted to reflect the situation in which “algae initiate much of the precipitation and thereby fashion the calcitic or aragonitic framework of lithoid tufa.”

Algae, contributors to the formation of calcareous tufa, Mono Lake, California by David W. Scholl and William H. Taft, Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 34, p. 309-319.

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