The Agouron Institute

Pasadena, CA, United States

The Agouron Institute

Pasadena, CA, United States
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Creveling J.R.,Harvard University | Fernandez-Remolar D.,CSIC - National Institute of Aerospace Technology | Rodriguez-Martinez M.,Complutense University of Madrid | Menendez S.,Instituto Geologico y Minero | And 12 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2013

The Cambrian Pedroche Formation comprises a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate succession recording subtidal deposition on a marine platform. Carbonate carbon isotope chemostratigraphy confirms previous biostratigraphic assignment of the Pedroche Formation to the Atdabanian regional stage of Siberia, correlative to Cambrian Series 2. At the outcrop scale, thrombolitic facies comprise ~. 60% of carbonate-normalized stratigraphy and coated-grains another ~. 10%. Petrographic point counts reveal that skeletons contribute at most 20% to thrombolitic inter-reef and reef-flank lithologies; on average, archaeocyath clasts make up 68% of skeletal materials. In contrast, petrographic point counts show that skeletons comprise a negligible volume of biohermal and biostromal thrombolite, associated nodular carbonate facies, and ooid, oncoid and peloid grainstone facies. As such, archaeocyathan reefal bioconstructions represent a specific and limited locus of skeletal carbonate production and deposition. Consistent with data from coeval, globally dispersed lower Cambrian successions, our analysis of the Pedroche Formation supports the view that lower Cambrian carbonates have more in common with earlier, Neoproterozoic deposits than with younger carbonates dominated by skeletal production and accumulation. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Wilson J.P.,Harvard University | Wilson J.P.,California Institute of Technology | Fischer W.W.,California Institute of Technology | Johnston D.T.,Harvard University | And 15 more authors.
Precambrian Research | Year: 2010

The ca. 1.8 Ga Duck Creek Formation, Western Australia, preserves 1000 m of carbonates and minor iron formation that accumulated along a late Paleoproterozoic ocean margin. Two upward-deepening stratigraphic packages are preserved, each characterized by peritidal precipitates at the base and iron formation and carbonate turbidites in its upper part. Consistent with recent studies of Neoarchean basins, carbon isotope ratios of Duck Creek carbonates show no evidence for a strong isotopic depth gradient, but carbonate minerals in iron formations can be markedly depleted in 13C. In contrast, oxygen isotopes covary strongly with depth; δ18O values as positive as 2‰ VPDB in peritidal facies systematically decline to values of -6 to -16‰ in basinal rocks, reflecting, we posit, the timing of diagenetic closure. The Duck Creek Formation contains microfossils similar to those of the Gunflint Formation, Canada; they are restricted to early diagenetic cherts developed in basinal facies, strengthening the hypothesis that such fossils capture communities driven by iron metabolism. Indeed, X-ray diffraction data indicate that the Duck Creek basin was ferruginous throughout its history. The persistence of ferruginous waters and iron formation deposition in Western Australia for at least several tens of millions of years after the transition to sulfidic conditions in Laurentia suggests that the late Paleoproterozoic expansion of sulfidic subsurface waters was globally asynchronous. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Martindale R.C.,Harvard University | Martindale R.C.,University of Texas at Austin | Strauss J.V.,Harvard University | Sperling E.A.,Harvard University | And 14 more authors.
Precambrian Research | Year: 2015

The ca. 2.45-2.22. Ga Turee Creek Group, Western Australia, contains carbonate-rich horizons that postdate earliest Proterozoic iron formations, bracket both Paleoproterozoic glaciogenic beds and the onset of the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), and predate ca. 2.2-2.05. Ga Lomagundi-Jatuli C-isotopic excursion(s). As such, Turee Creek carbonate strata provide an opportunity to characterize early Paleoproterozoic carbonate sedimentation and carbon cycle dynamics in the context of significant global change. Here, we report on the stratigraphy, sedimentology, petrology, carbon isotope chemostratigraphy, and stromatolite development for carbonate-rich successions within the pre-glacial part of the Kungarra Formation and the postglacial Kazput Formation.Kungarra carbonate units largely occur as laterally discontinuous beds within a thick, predominantly siliciclastic shelf deposit. While this succession contains thin microbialite horizons, most carbonates consist of patchy calcite overgrowths within a siliciclastic matrix. C-isotopic values show marked variation along a single horizon and even within hand samples, reflecting spatially and temporally variable mixing between dissolved inorganic carbon in seawater and isotopically light inorganic carbon generated via syn- and post-depositional remineralization of organic matter.In contrast, the Kazput carbonates consist of subtidal stromatolites, grainstones, and micrites deposited on a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic shelf. These carbonates exhibit moderate δ13C values of -2‰ to +1.5‰ and likely preserve a C-isotopic signature of seawater. Kazput carbonates, thus, provide some of the best available evidence that an interval of unexceptional C-isotopic values separates the Lomagundi-Jatuli C-isotopic excursion(s) from the initiation of the GOE as inferred from multiple sulfur isotopes (loss of mass independent fractionation). The Kazput Formation also contains unusual, m-scale stromatolitic buildups, which are composed of sub-mm laminae and discontinuous, convex upward lenticular precipitates up to a few mm in maximum thickness. Laminae, interpreted as microbial mat layers, contain quartz and clay minerals as well as calcite, whereas precipitate lenses consist of interlocking calcite anhedra, sometimes showing faint mm-scale banding. These cements formed either as infillings of primary voids formed by gas emission within penecontemporaneously lithified mats, or as local seafloor precipitates that formed on, or within, surface mats. It is possible that both mechanisms interacted to form the unique Kazput stromatolites. These microbialites speak to a distinctive interaction between life and environment early in the Paleoproterozoic Era. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

PubMed | The Agouron Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Production of extracellular polysaccharide by the marine bacterium Pseudomonas atlantica is a variable trait. Strains that produce extracellular polysaccharide (EPS(+)) have a mucoid colony phenotype, but during cultivation in the laboratory nonmucoid, EPS(-) variants arise that have a crenated colony morphology. This change is reversible since crenated variants rapidly switch to the original mucoid phenotype. We have cloned the locus (eps) controlling variable expression of EPS production by screening a recombinant cosmid library for clones that restore EPS production in the crenated variant. By using eps as a probe of genomic structure in variant strains, expression of EPS production was found to be controlled by a specific DNA rearrangement. Insertion of a 1.2-kilobase-pair DNA sequence in the eps locus results in EPS(-), whereas excision of the sequence restores the EPS(+) phenotype. Properties of the rearrangement suggest the involvement of a mobile genetic element. The possible significance of this DNA rearrangement to the survival of P. atlantica in the ocean is discussed.

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