Microbial Sediments in Tropical Karst Terrains: A Model Based on the Cayman Islands

  • Brian Jones


Microbes play an important role in the formation of karst landscapes by mediating a wide array of destructive and constructive processes. The destructive processes, which include substrate dissolution and boring, commonly lead to the formation of sparmicrite and the release of CaCO3 into the system. Constructive processes, which include trapping and binding of detrital grains to a substrate, commonly lead to the formation of microstromatolites. The microbial processes operative in any given area are controlled by numerous factors that are related to the type of microbe and the microenvironment in which they live. The diversity of processes operative in a tropical karst terrain is related to the broad array of ecological niches that are available in such landscapes.


Calcite Crystal Constructive Process Cave Wall Twilight Zone Cayman Island 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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