GOMEZ Fernando Javier
congresos y reuniones científicas
Looking for Biosignatures in Carbonate Microbialites from the Laguna Negra, Argentinian Andes
BOIDI, F.J.; GOMEZ, F.J.; FIKE, D.; BRADLEY, A.; FARIAS, M.E.; BEELER, S.
Simposio; Midwest Geobiology Symposium 2015; 2015
Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University
The distinction between biotic and abiotic control on microbialites formation and itssignatures is relevant since stromatolites are considered the oldest evidence for life on Earth and a target for astrobiological research. The Laguna Negra is a shallow hypersaline lake placed at the Andes, Northwest Argentina, where carbonate microbialites and microbial mats develop. It is a unique system where microbial influence on carbonate precipitation and potential preserved biosignatures in the microbialites can be studied. Here we compare three distinct microbialitessystems: carbonate laminar crusts with no visible microbial mats, stromatolites and dm-size oncoids, both related with different microbial mats. Our goal is to unravel the biotic controls on their formation, and the biosignatures there recorded.Laminar crusts are composed of stacked regular and isopachous carbonate lamina. Oncoids laminae are typically characterized by irregular hybrid micro-textures, composed of alternating micritic and botryoidal laminae, and the stromatolites are mostly composed by irregular micritic laminae. Sulfur isotopes of carbonate associated sulphate show similar values but they show differences in the pyrite sulfur isotopes suggesting differences in the fractionation degree, possibly related to sulphate reducing bacteria and variable sulphate reservoirs in the case of stromatolites and oncoids. δ13C fractionation between organic carbon and carbonates suggests photosynthesis, but other metabolisms cannot yet be discarded. 16S rDNA data of the microbial communities associated with the carbonate structures indicate the presence of these taxonomicgroups and those that are known to influence carbonate precipitation, particularly in the stromatolites associated microbial community.Our data indicate significant differences between the three systems in terms of stable isotopes, textures and associated microbial diversity, suggesting a microbial control on stromatolites and oncoids formation in the Laguna Negra. Further studies may provide a valuable contribution on biosignatures preservation and recognition that can shed light on understanding the early biosphere record.