Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 107–116 | Cite as

Biomineralization and phytokarst development on cavernous Quaternary carbonate terraces, Mohammedia, northwest Morocco

  • Michael J. DuaneEmail author


Subaerial Quaternary limestones exposed on raised beach terraces on the Atlantic coastline north of Casablanca, Morocco, are undergoing rapid denudation by fungal and cyanobacterial destructive processes. Erosion is accomplished by penetration of the substrate by mycelia, including dissolution of carbonate substrate which subsequently becomes trapped in the biofilms in the photic zone along the terraces. The cyanobacteria cause biophysical disintegration, redistribution and biosynthesis of mineral components. Invasion of the pore space created by cyanobacteria is followed by microbially mediated carbonate cementation, beginning with the precipitation of several generations of crystallographically diverse carbonate cements. The micro-caves exhibit a range of features dominated by speleothemic calcite, microborings, algal filaments, hyphae, and calcite spherulites, which support the role of micro-organisms in the bioerosion and subsequent cementation of carbonate rocks in the terrestrial environment.


Calcite Travertine Stromatolite Micrite Spray Zone 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceKuwait UniversitySafatKuwait

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