Facies

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 66–79

Methane-derived carbonate build-ups and associated microbial communities at cold seeps on the lower Crimean shelf (Black Sea)

  • Joachim Reitner
  • Jörn Peckmann
  • Andreas Reimer
  • Gabriela Schumann
  • Volker Thiel
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10347-005-0059-4

Cite this article as:
Reitner, J., Peckmann, J., Reimer, A. et al. Facies (2005) 51: 66. doi:10.1007/s10347-005-0059-4

Abstract

In the euxinic waters of the NW’ Black Sea shelf, tower-like carbonate build-ups up to several metres in height grow at sites of cold methane seepage. These structures are part of an unique microbial ecosystem that shows a considerable biodiversity and a remarkable degree of organization. The accretion of the build-ups is promoted by the growth of centimetre-sized, methane-filled spheres constructed by calcifying microbial mats. Progressive mineralization of these spheres involves the early precipitation of strongly luminescent high-Mg-calcite rich in iron sulphides, and closely interfingered aragonite phases that finally create the stable (mega-) thrombolithic fabric of the towers. Within the microbial mats, microorganisms occur in distinctive spatial arrangements. Major players among the microbial consortia are the archaea groups ANME-1 and ANME-2, Crenarchaeota, and sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfobacterium group. The intracellular precipitation of iron sulphides (greigite) by some of these bacteria, growing in close association with ANME-2, suggests iron cycling as an additional biogeochemical pathway involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM).

Keywords

Black Sea Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) Magnetotactic bacteria Carbonates Cold seeps FISH Archaea 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Reitner
    • 1
  • Jörn Peckmann
    • 2
  • Andreas Reimer
    • 1
  • Gabriela Schumann
    • 1
  • Volker Thiel
    • 1
  1. 1.Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum der Universität Göttingen GZGGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Forschungszentrum OzeanränderUniversität BremenBremenGermany

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