Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 204–219 | Cite as

Holocene microbial tufas: Orissa State, India

  • Srikanta Das
  • Manmohan Mohanti


Holocene microbial tufas, dominantly of stromatolitic crusts, have been formed in a tropical setting of Orissa State, India. These occur as stratified crusts in various dispositions and are also associated with moss-rich deposits. Morphologically, these vary from planar laminated crusts to columnar growths.

Stromatolitic tufas are built with alternate lighter sparry and relatively darker micritic laminae in which possibly ‚Phormidium’, ‚Scytonema’ and ‚Schizothrix’ occur. Fibrous aragonite also occurs in microbial crusts radiating normal to laminae and at places forms bushy and spherulitic fabrics. Other microorganisms involved are diatoms, coccoid cyanobacteria, fungi and (?) bacteria.

Stable carbon and oxygen isotope values indicate precipitation from ambient temperature waters, possibly in partial disequilibrium condition. A biogenic contribution from the soil zone to the carbon pool seems very likely. The deposition is largely effected due to inorganic precipitation. Calcification of the microbial community due to heterogeneous nucleation and trapping by mucilaginous cyanobacteria has resulted in surficial mineralization. Precipitation differences associated with cyanobacteria have formed altermate sparry and micritic laminae. These may indicate a seasonal variation in deposition. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A00QA023 00006


Aragonite Tufa Stromatolite Phormidium Microbial Crust 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ANDREWS, J.E., RIDING, R., and DENNIS, P.F., 1993, Stable Isotopic Compositions of Recent Freshwater Cyanobacterial Carbonates from British Isles: Local and Regional Environmental Controls:Sedimentology, v. 40, p. 303–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. ARP, G., 1995, Lacustrine Bioherms, Spring Mounds, and Marginal Carbonates of the Ries-Impact-Crater (Miocene, Southern Germany):Facies, v. 33, p. 35–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ASSERTO, R. and FOLK, R.L., 1980, Diagenetic Fabrics of Aragonite, Calcite, and Dolomite in an Ancient Peritidal-Spelean Environment: Triassic Calcare Rosso, Lombardia, Italy:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 50, p. 371–394.Google Scholar
  4. BUCHBINDER, B., BEGIN, Z.B., and FRIEDMAN, G.M., 1974, Pleistocene Algal Tufa of Lake Lisan, Dead Sea Area, Israel:Israel Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 23, p. 131–138.Google Scholar
  5. BURNE, R.V. and MOORE, L.S., 1987, Microbialites: Organosedimentary Deposits of Benthic Microbial Communities:Palaios, v. 2, p. 241–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. CASANOVA, J., 1992, Seasonality in Modern Travertmes (Southeastern France),in Sarfati, J. and Casanova, J., (eds.), Stromatolite News Letter No. 15. BRGM, Orleans, France, p. 21–22.Google Scholar
  7. CASANOVA, J., 1994, Stromatolites from the East African Rift: A synopsis,in Bertrand-Sarfati, J. and Monty, C., (eds.), Phanerozoic Stromatolites II. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, p. 193–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. CASANOVA, J. and HILLAIRE-MARCEL, C., 1993, Carbon and Oxygen Isotopes in African Stromatolites: Palaeohydrological Interpretation:Geophysical Monograph, No. 78, American Geophysical Union, p. 123–133.Google Scholar
  9. CHAFETZ, H.S. and FOLK, R.L., 1984, Travertines: Depositional Morphology and the Bacterially Constructed Constituents:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 54, p. 289–316.Google Scholar
  10. CHAFETZ, H.S. and MEREDITH, J.C., 1983, Recent Travertine Pisoids (Pisoliths) from Southeastern Idaho, U.S.A.,in Peryt, T.M., (ed.), Coated Grains. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p. 450–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. CHAFETZ, H.S., UTECH, N.M., and FITZMAURICE, S.P., 1991a, Differences in18O and13C Signatures of Seasonal Laminae Comprising Travertine Stromatolites:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 61, p. 1015–1028.Google Scholar
  12. CHAFETZ, H.S., RUSH, P.F., and UTECH, N.M., 1991b, Microenvironmental Controls on Mineralogy and Habit of CaCO3 Precipitates: An Example from an Active Travertine System:Sedimentology, v. 38, p. 107–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DANDURAND, J.L., GOUT, R., HOEFS, J., MENSCHELL, G., SCHOTT, J., and USDOWSKI, E., 1982, Kinetically Controlled Variations of Major Components and Carbon and Oxygen Isotopes in Calcite Precipitating Stream:Chemical Geology, v. 36, p. 299–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DAS, S. and MOHANTI, M., 1993, Modern Microbial Travertine-Tufa Crusts in Mayurbhanj District (Orissa), India,in Sarfati, J. and Casanova, J., (eds.), Stromatolite News Letter No. 16. BRGM, Orleans, France, p. 26–29.Google Scholar
  15. EMEIS, K.C., RICHNOW, H.H., and KEMPE, S., 1987, Travertine Formation in Plitvice National Park, Yugoslovia: Chemical Versus Biological Control:Sedimentology, v. 34, p. 595–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. FOLK, R.L., 1974, The Natural History of Crystalline Calcium Carbonate: Effect of Magnesium Content and Salinity:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 44, p. 40–53.Google Scholar
  17. FOLK, R.L., 1993, SEM Imaging of Bacteria and Nannobacteria in Carbonate Sediments and Rocks:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 63, p. 990–999.Google Scholar
  18. FOLK, R.L., CHAFETZ, H.S., and TIEZZI, P.A., 1985, Bizarre Forms of Depositional and Diagenetic Calcite in Hot Spring Travertines, Central Italy,in Schneiderman, N. and Harris, P.M., (eds.), Carbonate Cements. Society of Economic Palaeontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Spl. Publ. No. 36, p. 349–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. FORD, T.D. and PEDLEY, H.M., 1996, A Review of Tufa and Travertine Deposits of the World:Earth-Science Reviews, Elsevier Science B.V., v. 41, p. 117–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. FREYTET, P. and PLET, A., 1996, Modern Freshwater Microbial Carbonates: ThePhormidium Stromatolites (Tufa-Travertine) of Southeastern Burgundy (Paris Basin, France):Facies, v. 34, p. 219–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. FRIEDMAN, G.M., 1978, Algal Tufa from shores of Ancestral Dead Sea:American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 62, p. 514.Google Scholar
  22. GOLUBIC, S., 1973, The Relationship Between Blue-green Algae and Carbonate Sediments,in Carr, N.B. and Whitten, B.A., (eds.), The Biology of Blue-green Algae. Blackwell Publication, London, p. 434–472.Google Scholar
  23. GOLUBIC, S. and CAMPBELL, S.E., 1981, Biologically Formed Aragonite Concretions in MarineRivularia, in Monty, C.L.V., (ed.), Phanerozoic Stromatolites. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p. 209–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. GOLUBIC, S., VIOLANTE, C., FERRERI, V., and D'ARGENIO, B., 1993, Algal Control and Early Diagenesis in Quaternary Formation (Rocchetta a Volturno, Central Apennines),in Barattolo, F., et al. (eds.), Studies on Fossil Benthic Algae.Bolletino della Societa Paleontologica Italiana, Mucchi, Modena, Spl. v. 1, p. 231–247.Google Scholar
  25. HEIMANN, A. and SASS, E., 1989, Travertines in the Northern Hulla Valley, Israel:Sedimentology, v. 36, p. 95–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. HUBBARD, D.A. and HERMAN, J.S., 1990, Overview of Travertine-Marl Volume,in Herman, J.S. and Hubbard, D.A., (eds.), Travertine-Marl: Stream Deposits in Virginia:Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, Charlottesville, Virginia, Publ. 101, p. 1–4.Google Scholar
  27. JACOBSON, R.L. and USDOWSKI, E., 1975, Geochemical Controls on a Calcite Precipitating Spring:Contribution to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 51, p. 65–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. JONES, B., 1988, The Influence of Plants and Microorganisms on Diagenesis in Caliche: Example from Pleistocene Iron Stone Formation on Cayman Brac, British West Indies:Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, v. 36, p. 191–201.Google Scholar
  29. JONES, B. and KAHLE, C.F., 1986, Dendritic Calcite Crystals Formed by Calcification of Algal Filaments in a Vadose Environment:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 56, p. 217–227.Google Scholar
  30. JULIA, R., 1983, Travertines,in Scholle, P.A., Bebout, D.G., and Moore, C.H., (eds.), Carbonate Depositional Environments:American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 33, p. 64–72.Google Scholar
  31. KLAPPA, C.F., 1979, Calcified Filaments in Quaternary Calcretes: Organo-Mineral Interactions in the Subaerial Vadose Environment:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 49, p. 955–968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. KOBAN, C.G. and SCHWEIGERT, G., 1993, Microbial Origin of Travertine Fabries — Two Examples from Southern Germany (Pleistocene Stuttgart Travertines and Miocene Riedeöchingen Travertine):Facies, v. 29, p. 251–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. KRUMBEIN, W.E., 1978, Algal Mats and Their Lithification,in Krumbein, W.E. (ed.), Environmental Biogeochemistry and Geomicrobiology The Aquatic Environment, v. 1. Ann Arbor Science Publishers, Michigan, p. 209–225.Google Scholar
  34. KRUMBEIN, W.E., 1979, Calcification by Bacteria and Algae,in Trudingar, P.A. and Swaine D.J., (eds.), Biogeochemical Cycling of Mineral Forming Elements: Studies in Environmental Science, No. 3. Elsevier, New York, p. 47–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. KRUMBEIN, W.E. and STAL, L.J., 1991, The Geophysiology of Marine Cyanobacterial Mats and Biofilms:Kieler Meeresforsch, v. 8, p. 158–163.Google Scholar
  36. LESLIE, A.B., TUCKER, M.E., and SPIRO, B., 1992, A Sedimentological and Stable Isotopic Study of Travertines and Associated Sediments Within Upper Triassic Lacustrine Limestones, South Wales, U.K.:Sedimentology, v. 39, p. 613–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. LOVE, K.M. and CHAFETZ, H.S., 1990, Petrology of Quaternary Travertine Deposits, Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma,in Herman, J.S. and Hubbard, D.A., (eds.), Travertine-Marl: Stream Deposits in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, Charlottesville, Publ. 101, p. 65–78.Google Scholar
  38. MAURIN, A.F., 1987, Microbial Micrites: Friends of the Algae, News Letter No. 8, p. 42–43.Google Scholar
  39. MERZ, M.U.E., 1992, The Biology of Carbonate Precipitation by Cyanobacteria:Facies, v. 26, p. 81–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. MERZ, M.U.E. and ZANKL, H., 1993, The Influence of the Sheath on Carbonate Precipitation by Cyanobacteria,in Barattolo, F., et al. (eds.), Studies on Fossil Benthic Algae.Bolletino della Societa Paleontologica Italiana, Mucchi, Modena, Spl. v. 1, p. 325–331.Google Scholar
  41. MOHANTI, M. and DAS, S., 1989, Microbial Constituents in Quaternary Travertine Deposits in Parts of Orissa State, India,in Kennard, J.M., and Burne, R.V., (eds.), Stromatolite News Letter No. 14, Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, Camberra, Australia, p. 49–50.Google Scholar
  42. MOHANTI, M. and DAS, S., 1992, Travertine-Tufa (Quaternary) Formation in Orissa State, India: Microbial and Inorganic Control,in Sarfati, J. and Casanova, J., (eds.), Stromatolite News Letter No. 15, BRGM, Orleans, France, p. 35–37.Google Scholar
  43. MONTY, C.L.V., 1976, The Origin and Development of Cryptalgal Fabrics,in Walter, M.R., (ed.), Stromatolites. Developments in Sedimentology No. 20, Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 193–250.Google Scholar
  44. PAZDUR, A., PAZDUR, M.F., STARKEL, L., and SZULC, J., 1988, Stable Isotopes of Holocene Calcareous Tufa in Southern Poland as Paleoclimatic Indicators:Quaternary Research, v. 30, p. 177–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. PEDLEY, H.M., 1987, The Flandrian (Quaternary) Caerwys Tufa, North Wales: An Ancient Barrage Tufa Deposit:Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, no. 46, p. 141–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. PEDLEY, H.M., 1992, Freshwater (Phytoherm) Reefs: The Role of the Biological Film and its Bearing on Marine Reef Cementation — Reefs and Ramps:Sedimentary Geology, Spl. v. 79, p. 255–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. PEDLEY, H.M., 1994, Prokaryote-Microphyte Biofilms and Tufas: A Sedimentological Perspective:Kaupia, v. 4, p. 45–60.Google Scholar
  48. PENTECOST, A., 1978, Blue-green Algae and Freshwater Carbonate Deposits:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London-B, no. 200, p. 43–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. PENTECOST, A., 1987, Growth and Calcification of the freshwater cyanobacteriumRivularia haematites: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London-B, no. 232, 125–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. PENTECOST, A., 1990a, The Algal Flora of Travertine: An Overview,in Herman, J.S. and Hubbard, D.A., (eds.), Travertine-Marl: Stream Deposits in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, Charlottesville, Publ. 101, p. 117–127.Google Scholar
  51. PENTECOST, A., 1990b, The Formation of Travertine Shrubs: Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming:Geological Magazine, v. 127, p. 159–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. PENTECOST, A., 1993, British Travertines: A Review:Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, v. 104, p. 23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. PENTECOST, A., 1995, The Quaternary Travertine Deposits of Europe and Asia Minor:Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 14, p. 1005–1028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. PENTECOST, A. and RIDING, R., 1986, Calcification in Cyanobacteria,in Leadbeater, B.S.C. and Riding, R., (eds.), Biomineralization in Lower Plants and Animals: Oxford, Clarendon Press, p. 73–90.Google Scholar
  55. PENTECOST, A. and VILES, H.A., 1994, A Review and Reassesment of Travertine Classification:Geographic Geophysique et Quaternaire, v. 48, p. 305–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. RIDING, R., 1991a, Classification of Microbial Carbonates,in Riding, R., (ed.), Calcareous Algae and Stromatolites: Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p. 21–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. RIDING, R., 1991b, Calcified Cyanobacteria,in Riding, R., (ed.), Calcareous Algae and Stromatolites: Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p. 55–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. SZULC, J. and SMYK, B., 1994, Bacterially Controlled Calcification of FreshwaterSchizothrix-Stromatolites: An Example from the Pieniny Mts., Southern Poland,in Bertrand-Sarfati, J. and Monty, C., (eds.), Phanerozoic Stromatolites II. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, p. 31–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. TURI, B., 1986, Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Travertines,in Fritz, P. and Fontes, J.C., (eds.), The Terrestrial Environment Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, v. 2. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 207–235.Google Scholar
  60. VERRECCHIA, E.P., FREYTET, P., VERRECCHIA, K.E., and DUMONT, J.L., 1995, Spherulites in Calcrete Laminar Crusts: Biogenic CaCO3 Precipitation as a Major Contributor to Crust Formation:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. A65, p. 690–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. VIOLANTE, C., FERRERI, V., D'ARGENIO, B., and GOLUBIC, S., 1994, Quaternary Travertines at Rocchetta a Volturno (Isernia, Central Italy): Facies Analysis and Sedimentary Model of an Organogenic Carbonate System: 15th IAS Regional Meeting, April, 1994, Ischia, Italy, Excursion A 1, p. 3–23.Google Scholar
  62. WESTALL, F. and RINSE, Y., 1994, Biofilms, Microbial Mats and Microbe-Particle Interactions: Electron Microscope Observations from Diatomaceous Sediments:Sedimentology, v. 41, p. 147–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Srikanta Das
    • 1
  • Manmohan Mohanti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUtkal UniversityBhubanewarIndia

Personalised recommendations