Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Moonmilk

  • Joachim Reitner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_152

Synonyms

Bergmilch; Lac lunae; Lac montanum; Mannmilch; Mondmilch; Montmilch; Mundmilch

Definition

Moonmilk is a carbonate deposit that occurs within various subterranean systems. Moonmilk has a white to gray color and, in contrast to rigid cave deposits ( speleothems) such as stalactites and stalagmites, exhibits a soft, muddy texture of microcrystalline aggregates. These aggregates are mainly composed of calcite, and to a lesser extent of aragonite, monohydrocalcite, hydromagnesite, sulfates, and nitrates (Martínez-Arkarazo et al., 2007; Richter et al., 2008; Cañaveras et al., 2006; Borsato et al., 2000). The calcite shows an aragonite-like needle form (“lublinite”), which is normally associated with soil bacteria. The crystal needles have a diameter of about 0.1 µm and a length of ca. 8–10 µm. The name “moonmilk – Mondmilch” is derived from the name of a cave, “Mondmilchloch,” located at the Pilatus mountain (Emmental Alps, Switzerland) (Fischer, 1988).

Geobiological implications

Moo...

Keywords

Sulfide Geochemistry Calcite Pseudomonas Microbe 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Reitner
    • 1
  1. 1.Geobiology Group Geoscience CenterUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany