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October 2008 GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
Date:9/25/2008

23529, USA, p. 4-9.

A relatively new and important window on past sedimentary environments and processes is provided by microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS). MISS are produced by the interaction between photosynthesizing bacteria (and the laminated mats they produce) and the physical sediment dynamics of siliciclastic, shallow-marine settings. MISS occur in active tidal and shallow shelf settings today, but have a continuous record extending back to Archaean times. For example, the 2.9 Ga Pongola Supergroup in South Africa includes MISSrepresenting the oldest known cyanobacterial community preserved in Earth history. Because MISS are present today and can be studied from the twin perspectives of process and spatial distribution, they provide valuable insights into the processes and sedimentary environments represented by ancient deposits.


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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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