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Microbial mat structures in profile: The Neoproterozoic Sonia Sandstone, Rajasthan, India

Microbial mat structures in profile: The Neoproterozoic Sonia Sandstone, Rajasthan, India,10.1016/j.jseaes.2010.10.008,Journal of Asian Earth Sciences

Microbial mat structures in profile: The Neoproterozoic Sonia Sandstone, Rajasthan, India  
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Ubiquitous microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria preferably grow on the sediment surface thereby producing microbial mats. In the absence of grazers and bioturbators, microbial mat is a unique feature of the Proterozoic. Most of the papers so far published described a wide variety of bed surface microbial mat structures with rare illustrations from sections perpendicular to bedding. Nonetheless, bed surface exposures are relatively rare in rock records. This limitation of bed surface exposures in rock records suggest that a study of microbial mats in bed-across sections is needed. The 60m thick coastal marine interval of the Sonia Sandstone Formation is bounded between two terrestrial intervals, a transgressive lag at the base and an unconformity at the top, and has been chosen for exploration of microbial mat structures in bed-across sections. A wide variety of microbial mat-induced structures in bed-across sections are preserved within the coastal interval of the Sonia Sandstone. Though many of these structures are similar in some aspects with bed surface structures, some of those presented here are new. The palaeogeographic range of these microbial structures extends from supralittoral to neritic. Diagenetic alterations of microbial mats produce pyrite and those zones are suitable for the preservation of microbial remains. SEM and EDAX analyses show fossil preservation of filamentous microbial remains that confirm the presence of microbial mats within the coastal interval of the Sonia Sandstone. Effects of proliferation of microbial mats in the siliciclastic depositional setting are numerous. The mat-cover on sediment surfaces hinders reworking and/or erosion of the sediments thereby increases the net sedimentation rate. Successive deposition and preservation of thick microbial mat layer under reducing environments should have a great potential for hydrocarbon production and preservation and therefore these Proterozoic formations could be a target for exploration.
Journal: Journal of Asian Earth Sciences - J ASIAN EARTH SCI , vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 542-549, 2011
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