An abiotic model for stromatolite morphogenesis

  title={An abiotic model for stromatolite morphogenesis},
  author={John P. Grotzinger and Daniel H. Rothman},
STROMATOLITES are laminated, accretionary structures, which are commonly regarded to have formed by the sediment-binding or precipitating activities of ancient microbial mats or biofilms (composed mainly of cyanobacteria), possibly supplemented by abiotic surface precipitation1–4. Stromatolites are thus considered to be a proxy for early life on Earth, as the record of these structures extends back to 3.5 Gyr ago5. But as stromatolites only rarely contain fossil microbes, their biogenicity is… Expand
Biophysical basis for the geometry of conical stromatolites
It is found that organization of a field of stromatolites is set by a diffusive time scale over which individual structures compete for nutrients, thus linking form to physiology, and provides quantitative support for the photosynthetic origin of conical strom atolites throughout geologic time. Expand
Statistical physics and stromatolite growth: new perspectives on an ancient dilemma
This paper outlines our recent attempts to model the growth and form of microbialites from the perspective of the statistical physics of evolving surfaces. Microbialites arise from the environmentalExpand
Biofilm Growth and Fossil Form
It is shown that the dynamics shaping conical stromatolites result from diffusive gradients within the overlying microbial mat, which cause minerals to precipitate faster in regions of high curvature, resulting in measurable properties of the shapes of strom atolite laminas. Expand
Controls on development and diversity of Early Archean stromatolites
The persistence of an inferred biological signal through changing environmental circumstances and stromatolite types indicates that benthic microbial populations adapted to shifting environmental conditions in early oceans. Expand
Growth morphologies of modern marine stromatolites: A case study from Highborne Cay, Bahamas
Abstract Stromatolites are a uniquely coupled geo-biosphere system, which potentially records important paleoenvironmental and biological information. Characterizing and distinguishing between theExpand
Stromatolites: biogenicity, biosignatures, and bioconfusion
Stromatolites represent a multifarious system of nested, physically, chemically, and biologically influenced components that range in scale from microscopic to macroscopic. These components canExpand
Complexity analysis to explore the structure of ancient stromatolites
Abstract Stromatolites [Nature 383 (1996) 423] are macroscopic rock formations resembling layered microbial communities and historically considered the fossil remains of microbiological activityExpand
Laboratory Models of Microbial Biosignatures in Carbonate Rocks
Enigmatically shaped laminated carbonate rocks called stromatolites dominated shallow marine environments for the first 80% of Earth’s history, and are potentially the oldest macrofossils. WhileExpand
Growth of synthetic stromatolites and wrinkle structures in the absence of microbes - implications for the early fossil record.
Stromatolites and wrinkle structures are often taken to be an important indicator for early life. While both may be shaped by microbial mat growth, this can be open to doubt, so that the contributionExpand
A case for biotic morphogenesis of coniform stromatolites
Mathematical models have recently been used to cast doubt on the biotic origin of stromatolites. Here by contrast we propose a biotic model for stromatolite morphogenesis which considers theExpand


Proterozoic ministromatolites with radial‐fibrous fabric
Small digitate stromatolites with diameters in the range of 0·2–20 mm (ministromatolites) are common in Early and Middle Proterozoic carbonate sequences, and extend stratigraphically from theExpand
Stromatolite recognition in ancient rocks: an appraisal of irregularly laminated structures in an Early Archaean chert-barite unit from North Pole, Western Australia
The word ‘stromatolite’ should only be applied to organosedimentary structures predominantly accreted by sediment trapping, binding and/or in situ precipitation as a result of the growth andExpand
Palaeobiological significance of Plagiogmus arcuatus from the lower Cambrian of central Australia
The Cambrian trace fossil Plagiogmus is the floor of a backfilled burrow which is common in the deltaic sediments of the Arumbera Sandstone in central Australia. The Plagiogmus forming organism/sExpand
Precambrian Stromatolites: Image Analysis of Lamina Shape
A morphometric study of 808 lamina profiles of 18 previously published stromatolite taxa was performed using an image analyser. The data were plotted using different shape factors as coordinates andExpand
Evidence for primary aragonite precipitation, lower Proterozoic (1.9 Ga) Rocknest dolomite, Wopmay orogen, northwest Canada
Abundant precipitation of aragonite is suggested by well-preserved fabrics in dolostones of the lower Proterozoic (1.9 Ga) Rocknest Formation. Fabrics include dolomite and silica after botryoidalExpand
A Discussion on the evolution of the Precambrian crust - Evolution of an early Proterozoic continental margin: the Coronation geosyncline and associated aulacogens of the northwestern Canadian shield
  • P. Hoffman
  • Geology
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 1973
The Coronation geosyncline developed in the early Proterozoic along the western margin of a continental platform (the Slave Province) of Archaean rocks older than 2300 Ma, and culminated between 1725Expand
Chapter 2.5 Stromatoid Morphometrics
This chapter indicates the methods, advantages, and wide possibilities of rapid-automated, quantitative image-analysis in the study of geometric attributes of stromatolites and suggests other branches of geology and paleontology would also benefit from the application of quantitative imageanalysis. Expand
The surface statistics of a granular aggregate
The problem of the surface fluctuations in a settled granular material is posed. A simple model is given which describes the process by which a particle settles and comes to rest on the existingExpand
Numerical solution of a continuum equation for interface growth in 2+1 dimensions.
  • Amar, Family
  • Physics, Medicine
  • Physical review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
  • 1990
The results of extensive large-scale numerical integrations of the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation for stochastic interface growth in 1+1 and 2+1 dimensions are presented, finding that for large values of \ensuremath{\epsilon}, the values of the exponents are close to the conjecture of Kim and Kosterlitz, indicating that the smaller values obtained previously are due to crossover effects. Expand
Dynamic scaling of growing interfaces.
A model is proposed for the evolution of the profile of a growing interface that exhibits nontrivial relaxation patterns, and the exact dynamic scaling form obtained for a one-dimensional interface is in excellent agreement with previous numerical simulations. Expand