Formation of nesquehonite and other minerals as a consequence of biofilm dehydration

  • R. J. C. McLeanEmail author
  • H. E. Jamieson
  • D. R. Cullimore


A microbial biofilm community was established over 971 days within gravel in an aquarium so as to model biofouling of an aquifer. When the water was allowed to evaporate slowly, white crystalline deposits, containing several carbonate and sulphate minerals including nesquehonite (MgCO3.3H2O), were seen at the highest points on the surface of the biofouled gravel. No such deposits occurred in regions lacking biofilms. These crystals appeared to originate from evaporation of dissolved salts which had migrated through the biofilm. Surfaceadherent microbial biofilms may conceivably provide a conduit for solute transport in porous media such as soils and aquifers.

Key words

Aquifer biofilm soil solute transport 


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Copyright information

© Rapid Science Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. C. McLean
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. E. Jamieson
    • 2
  • D. R. Cullimore
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologySouthwest Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada

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