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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Journal of Sedimentary Research (SEPM)


Journal of Sedimentary Petrology
Vol. 43 (1973)No. 4. (December), Pages 1021-1030

Recent Stromatolites from Hydromagnesite and Aragonite Depositing Lakes Near the Coorong Lagoon, South Australia

M. R. Walter (3), S. Golubic, W. V. Preiss


Three morphological forms of stromatolites composed of hydromagnesite and aragonite occur in two ephemeral lakes near the Coorong Lagoon. None occur in the Lagoon or in other lakes. The three forms are stratiform, globular, and crenulate. Each is built by cyanophytes, the first two by almost monospecific mats (respectively Microcoleus chthonoplastes and Schizothrix splendida) and the third by a variable association dominated by Schizothrix gracilis and Calothrix crustacea. The shape of the stratiform stromatolites is characteristic of mats built by M. chthonoplastes and is later modified by desiccation and erosion. The shape of the globular stromatolites results from the radial growth habit of Schizothrix splendida. The shape of the crenulate tromatolites results from a combination of desiccation, the growth habits of the cyanophytes, and decomposition. Environmental and biological factors interact to shape stromatolites and either can dominate. Since the results document biological control of some morphological features of stromatolites it is reasonable to infer that biological evolution can be responsible for observed temporal changes in Precambrian stromatolites.

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