Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Moodies Group, Microbial Mats

  • Martin Homann
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5194-2


The Middle Archean Moodies Group (~3.22 Ga, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa), Earth’s oldest known well-preserved shallow-water siliciclastic sequence, includes several units with common microbial mats which thrived in the photic zone of a tidally influenced shoreline. The fossil mats are preserved as kerogenous laminations up to 1 mm thick, are interbedded with medium- to coarse-grained sandstones and rare gravel beds (Fig. 1), and were early silicified. SEM observations of the laminae show interwoven and bundled microbial filaments (1–3 μm in diameter), confirming mat biogenicity.


Greenstone Belt Filamentous Cyanobacterium Phototactic Behavior Moodies Group Filamentous Organism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften Tektonik und Sedimentäre Geologie, Fachbereich GeowissenschaftenFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany