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Extreme Life and Environments
Modern examples of stromatolites and microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS)


Modern examples of stromatolites and microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS). (A) Stromatolites north of Carbla Point, Shark Bay, Western Australia. The stromatolites are distinct build-ups of carbonate with vertical relief. The living microbial mat layer colonizes the surface of the stromatolite. Bar scale: 10 cm. (B) Domical stromatolite displaying stack of laminae in vertical section, Brighton Limestone, Cryogenian, South Australia. Bar scale: 5 cm. (C) Baicalia cf. rara from the Shisanlitai Formation, Neoproterozoic, Liaoning Province, China. Bar scale: 2 cm. (D) Tidal f lats of Mellum Island, Germany. Erosional remnants and pockets, sometimes called “the siliciclastic answer to stromatolites.” The microbial mats are planar, projecting only to a very minor degree from the sedimentary surface. Bar scale: 10 cm. (E) Coastal sabkha Bahar Alouane, Tunisia. Polygonal oscillation cracks form in microbial mats in semi-arid climate zones. Bar scale: 10 cm. (F) Tidal flats of Fishermans Island, Virginia, USA. Microbial mat chips scattered on sandy sediment. Bar scale: 5 cm. Credit: Noffke and Awramik. 2013. Stromatolites and MISS—Differences between relatives. GSA, 23(9), 4–9.

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