Chapter

Microbial Sediments

pp 270-281

Microbial Processes and Products Fueled by Hydrocarbons at Submarine Seeps

  • Paul AharonAffiliated withDepartment of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University

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Abstract

Two kinds of records preserve the imprints of microbial processes in submarine seep environments. One record tracks transient changes in pore fluid chemistry and is based on the fact that microbial activities leave indelible marks on the pore fluids, which serve as the transport media of microbial metabolic products. The other record, consisting of the geologic products of seeps such as massive carbonates and carbonate-cemented sandstones, is permanent and provides long-lasting archives which can be used to infer the geochemical and microbiological history of seeps. Both types of records encompassing pore fluids and sediments of extant seeps are reviewed here.