Since more than three-billions years, microbes and microbial mats are thought to have flourished in a wide variety of environments and interact with sediments, environmental conditions and geological processes. In sedimentary deposits and rocks related to cold seeps and hydrothermal vents, evidences of such interactions are preserved at a range of scales and settings, from molecular remains to thick microbial buildups, and from continental to deep sea basins.
The biosignatures left by microbes and microbial mats constitute a significant tool in understanding the geobiological processes and the interactions of microbial communities with sediments and with the prevailing physical and chemical parameters, as well as the environmental conditions at local and global scale. They may contribute as well in searching and understanding the life of the early earth and the life in the universe.
This session welcomes contributions from the international scientific community from disciplines such as sedimentology, geobiology, geomicrobiology and geochemistry. The objective is to bring together researchers to present and to discuss their recent researches and results on the following key topics:
- Biomarkers and biomineralisations,
- Mat-related structures and microbial sediments,
- Processes and products in cold seeps and hydrothermal vents.
Contributions that focus on these topics and ranging from molecular and isotopic approach to field studies are welcome. Of particular interest will be discussions focusing on the usefulness of microbes and microbial mats signatures in deciphering local and global processes and events in both modern and ancient sedimentary basins.
We intend to edit a special volume on these key topics in an international journal or in a special publication (e.g. IAS, JSL).