Methane-derived carbonates and chemosymbiotic communities of Piedmont (Miocene, northern Italy): An update
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Stable carbon isotope values of authigenic carbonate rocks in the Miocene terrigenous sediments of Piedmont indicate a methane-related origin. Some of these methane-derived carbonates (Lucina limestone) are characterized by the presence of abundant lucinid remains. Carbonate dissolution/precipitation and development of lucinid communities were related to bacterial methane oxidation, both aerobic and anaerobic. Anaerobic oxidation led to carbonate precipitation and production of sulfide, which sustained lucinid communities through chemosynthetic symbiotic bacteria. Aerobic oxidation of methane likely resulted in dissolution of carbonate skeletal grains. Several phases of carbonate precipitation, characterized by slightly different isotopic compositions, are recognizable in the limestones.
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