Scientific article
Open access

Microbial sedimentary imprint on the deep Dead Sea sediment

ContributorsThomas, Camille; Ebert, Y; Kiro, Y; Stein, M; Ariztegui, Danielorcid; DSDDP Scientific Team
Published inThe depositional record, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 118-138
Publication date2016

A study of an International Continental Drilling Program core recovered from the middle of the modern Dead Sea has identified microbial traces within this subsurface hypersaline environment. A comparison with an active microbial mat exhibiting similar evaporative processes characterized iron-sulphur mineralization and exopolymeric substances resulting from microbial activity. Exopolymeric substances were identified in the drilled sediment but unlike other hypersaline environments, it appears that they have a limited effect on the precipitation of calcium carbonate in the sedimentary column. Sulphate reduction, however, plays a role in all types of evaporative facies, leading to the formation of diagenetic iron sulphides in glacial and interglacial intervals. Their synthesis seems to occur under progressive sulphidation that generally stops at greigite because of incomplete sulphate reduction. The latter may be caused by a lack of suitable organic matter in this hypersaline, hence energy-demanding, environment. Pyrite may be found in periods of high lake productivity, when more labile organic matter is available. The carbon and sulphur cycles are thus influenced by microbial activity in the Dead Sea environment and this influence results in diagenetic transformations in the deep sediment.

  • EPS
  • Geomicrobiology
  • Hyper saline
  • Iron-sulphur mineralization
Citation (ISO format)
THOMAS, Camille et al. Microbial sedimentary imprint on the deep Dead Sea sediment. In: The depositional record, 2016, vol. 2, n° 1, p. 118–138. doi: 10.1002/dep2.16
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2055-4877

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