Experimental taphonomy; silicification of plants in Yellowstone hot-spring environments

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Authors:Channing, Alan; Edwards, Dianne
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Cardiff University, School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Volume Title:Rhynie hot-spring system; geology, biota and mineralisation
Volume Authors:Trewin, Nigel H., editor; Rice, Clive M.
Source:Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, Vol.94(Part 4), p.503-521; The Rhynie hit-spring system; geology, biota and mineralisation, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, Sept. 17-20, 2003, edited by Nigel H. Trewin and Clive M. Rice. Publisher: Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0263-5933. ISBN: 0-902198-29-7
Publication Date:2004
Note:In English. 41 refs.; illus., incl. 4 plates, sketch map
Summary:During experiments conducted within the vent pool of Medusa Geyser, Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, USA, amorphous opaline silica (opal-A) was deposited on/within plant tissues within 30 days of immersion. Initially, deposition created inter/intra-cellular films which lined cell walls plus intercellular colloid suspensions (sols) of opal-A nano/microspheres. By 330 days, opal-A deposition created a robust external and internal matrix that stabilised tissues against collapse and replicated plant structure. Opal-A films increased to micron-order thicknesses and intracellular sols were created. Systematic variation of opal-A fabric between tissues comprising living/dead cells at the time of deposition indicate that cell function, architecture and shape influence fabric development. Heterogeneity of opal-A fabric within adjacent cells of similar structure/function indicates spatially/temporally fluctuating physicochemical conditions and the presence of intraorganic microenvironments. Early deposition of opal-A films suggests a period of low silica supersaturation and slow opal-A deposition. In contrast, intracellular sols suggest high levels of supersaturation, and rapid opal-A deposition. Shell-like microsphere growth suggests cyclic variation of silica supersaturation, and alternations between rapid and slower opal-A deposition. Microsphere growth to the upper limit of colloidal stability and colloidal crystal structures indicate prolonged sol stability, whilst floc-like microsphere networks indicate localised sol instability.
Sections:Experimental mineralogy
Mineral Groups:Framework silicates
Subjects:Angiospermae; Devonian; Experimental studies; Fabric; Framework silicates; Geysers; Hot springs; Lower Devonian; Modern analogs; Opal; Paleozoic; Plantae; SEM data; Silica; Silica minerals; Silicates; Silicification; Spermatophyta; Springs; Taphonomy; Aberdeenshire Scotland; Europe; Great Britain; Park County Wyoming; Scotland; United Kingdom; United States; Western Europe; Wyoming; Yellowstone National Park; Eleocharis rostellata; Grampian region Scotland; Medusa Geyser; Norris Geyser basin; Rhynie Chert; Rhynie Scotland
Coordinates:N572000 N572000 E0025000 E0025000
N444500 N444500 W1104000 W1104000
Abstract Numbers:05M/128
Record ID:2005027560
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute.
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