Title

An Investigation of the Genesis of Microbialite Communities in Storr’s Lake, San Salvador Island, The Bahamas

Presenter Information

Katherine E. Herries

Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Major

Geology and Geophysics

Research Advisor

Wronkiewicz, David J.

Advisor's Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Funding Source

American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund

Abstract

Living microbial communities are found in the hypersaline and turbid waters of Storr’s Lake, The Bahamas. The microbialite mats are composed of mixed communities of symbiotic bacteria and cyanobacteria that precipitate mixed calcium-magnesium carbonate minerals as a result of their biologic activity. These solid mineral strutures have coalesced into mound-shaped structures that initially began to form more than 2360 years ago in Storr’s Lake. Growth patterns of the microbialite layers and their corresponding calcium and magnesium stable isotope chemistry are being used to determine both the growth process and sources of mineral components in the mounds. A better understanding of the modern mineralization process(es) will allow the researchers to use these isotopic patterns to reconstruct the carbon-cycle and paleoclimate history of Storr’s Lake. Similar structures have been identified in Missouri’s fossil record, and thus can provide glimpses into the evolution of the Earth’s climate and atmosphere over geologic time.

Biography

Katherine E. Herries is a senior in Geology and Geophysics. Upon graduation, she will attend graduate school to further her studies in the Geosciences. In her free time, she likes to play her guitar and banjo, play with her dog, and hike any trail she can find.

Research Category

Research Proposals

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

11 Apr 2016, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

Comments

Joint Project with Kayla R. Haneline

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Apr 11th, 9:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:45 AM

An Investigation of the Genesis of Microbialite Communities in Storr’s Lake, San Salvador Island, The Bahamas

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Living microbial communities are found in the hypersaline and turbid waters of Storr’s Lake, The Bahamas. The microbialite mats are composed of mixed communities of symbiotic bacteria and cyanobacteria that precipitate mixed calcium-magnesium carbonate minerals as a result of their biologic activity. These solid mineral strutures have coalesced into mound-shaped structures that initially began to form more than 2360 years ago in Storr’s Lake. Growth patterns of the microbialite layers and their corresponding calcium and magnesium stable isotope chemistry are being used to determine both the growth process and sources of mineral components in the mounds. A better understanding of the modern mineralization process(es) will allow the researchers to use these isotopic patterns to reconstruct the carbon-cycle and paleoclimate history of Storr’s Lake. Similar structures have been identified in Missouri’s fossil record, and thus can provide glimpses into the evolution of the Earth’s climate and atmosphere over geologic time.