Northern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Geomicrobial Formation of Clays on Dolomitic Surfaces

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

A comparative analysis of rock surfaces for microbial activity under differential organic load was made in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a significant difference in the community structure present on the rock surfaces, with the subsequent formation of a red-patina in the organic rich environment. X-ray powder diffractrometry in association with SEM-coupled energy dispersive spectroscopy suggests that this patina represents a layer of unconsolidated clays. By comparing the geochemistry of this environment with areas of lower inorganic load, and the metabolic activity of the organisms present, it is possible to speculate on the geomicrobial activities responsible for the formation of similar clays on dolomitic surfaces.

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Geomicrobial Formation of Clays on Dolomitic Surfaces

A comparative analysis of rock surfaces for microbial activity under differential organic load was made in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a significant difference in the community structure present on the rock surfaces, with the subsequent formation of a red-patina in the organic rich environment. X-ray powder diffractrometry in association with SEM-coupled energy dispersive spectroscopy suggests that this patina represents a layer of unconsolidated clays. By comparing the geochemistry of this environment with areas of lower inorganic load, and the metabolic activity of the organisms present, it is possible to speculate on the geomicrobial activities responsible for the formation of similar clays on dolomitic surfaces.