GSA Connects 2022 meeting in Denver, Colorado

Paper No. 104-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


NOFFKE, Nora, Ocean & Earth Sciences, Old Dominion University, 4600 Elkhorn Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23529, SELDEN, Paul A., Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, AUSICH, William, Museum of Paleontology and Evolution, 541 Congregation Street, Montreal, QC H3k 2J1, Canada, CARMONA, Noelia B., Instituto de Investigación en Paleobiología y Geología, General Roca, 8332, Argentina, HEIMANN RIOS, Adriana, Geological Sciences, East Carolina University, 101 Graham Building, Greenville, NC 27858, HICKMAN-LEWIS, Keyron, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom, HOMANN, Martin, Earth Sciences, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom, MITCHELL, Ria L., Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom, SHELDON, Nathan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1005, SHAPIRO, Russell, Geological and Environmental Sciences, California State University at Chico, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, 400 West 1st. Street, Chico, CA 95929-0205, VISSCHER, Pieter, Earth Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, CT 06340, WESTALL, Frances, Center for Molecular Biophysics, University of Orleans, Orleans, CS80054, France, WILMETH, Dylan, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Rue Dumont d'Urville, 29280, Plouzané, 29280, France and XIAO, Shuhai, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, 926 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Over the years, prokaryote fossil systematics in paleontology has been discussed off and on. The question also was whether prokaryotes belonged in the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology or not. Prokaryotes dominated the Precambrian, especially of course the older parts. With Precambrian paleontology and geobiology immensely rising, it was timely for the Treatise to develop a volume dedicated to prokaryotes. This first volume starts out by introducing biofilms and microbial mats, highly complex communities of microorganisms that closely interact with each other and their environment. Whereas individual prokaryote cells may be preserved as carbonaceous matter in chert, entire biofilm communities are expressed as microbialites. Of these, the carbonate stromatolites are prominent examples. Biofilms and mats also contributed to the enormous amounts quantities of Banded Iron Formations (BIFs), to date the most important ore deposits in the world. Where mats develop in clastic settings of little to no mineral precipitation, microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) represent the microbialite spectrum. Microbial mats, microbialites, and BIFs constitute large structures, but they may include myriads of microfossils of the ancient structure-formers. Whereas this volume serves the introduction of this topic, future work will contribute to additional volumes focusing on more details.


  • Selden, P., Ausich, W., and authors (2022): Treatise of Invertebrate Paleontology, Prokaryota , Number 162, Part B, Volume 2, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.