Microborings reveal alternating agitation, resting and sleeping stages of modern marine ooids
|Mono, P., Hoffmann, R., Wisshak, M., Lokier, S., Pederson, C. L., Hennhoefer, D., Diaz, M. R., Swart, P., Nehrke, G. and Immenhauser, A.
Ooids are abundant carbonate grains throughout much of Earth's history, but their formation is not well understood. Here, an in-depth study of microbial bioerosion features of Holocene ooids from the Schooner Cays ooid shoals (Great Bahama Bank, Eleuthera, Bahamas) and the Shalil al Ud ooid shoals in the Gulf (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) is presented. No obvious differences were found in ooid size distribution, cortex layer thickness, the composition of nuclei or euendolithic community when comparing ooids from both locations. Microendolithic borings are present in most studied ooid surfaces, but the intensity of (micro-)bioerosion varies significantly. Applying an epoxy vacuum cast-embedding technique allowed the identification of ichnotaxa and their inferred producers (various genera of diatoms, cyanobacteria, coccolithophores and unspecified bacteria). Euendolithic taxa have specific low-light tolerances and light optima. This implies that information about the relative bathymetry (seafloor versus burial within an ooid shoal) and ecology for ooid cortex formation can be obtained via the presence or absence of their respective ichnotaxa. The history of a statistically significant number of ooid cortices can be translated into dune dynamics and the temporal variations thereof by allocating the inferred index producer to a defined burial or light penetration zone. In this context, ooid formation can be divided into four stages: (i) an agitation stage in the water column, characterized by the colonization of grains by photoautotrophs; (ii) a resting stage, characterized by temporary burial of the ooid, leading to immobilization and a shift towards heterotrophs; (iii) a sleeping stage, characterized by prolonged burial and colonialization by organotrophs; and (iv) a reactivation stage, characterized by a resurfacing of the ooid and a subsequent shift towards photoautotrophs. The sleeping stage is presumably a stage of ooid degradation where bioerosion, mainly by heterotrophic fungi and bacteria is particularly active.
|Ooids; microbial bioerosion; Shalil al Ud ooid shoals ; Abu Dhabi
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|Web address (URL)
|17 Oct 2023
|Publication process dates
|13 Nov 2023
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