Enhanced development of lacustrine microbialites on gravity flow deposits, Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Sedimentary Geology Year : 2016

Enhanced development of lacustrine microbialites on gravity flow deposits, Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA.

Abstract

The Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA is a shallow, hypersaline, intracontinental lake hosting extensive microbial deposits. At a large spatial scale, the distribution of these deposits is driven by environmental and geodynamical factors (i.e. water-level fluctuations and a fault-related framework). A detailed mapping of the Buffalo Point area, in the north-western part of Antelope Island, indicates the presence of an anomalous concentration of microbial deposits dated ca. 5.8 ka BP and distributed along a lobe-shaped geometry. This uncommon microbial deposit geometry results from an extensive colonization of a conglomerate substrate exhibiting an accumulation of m-sized rounded Cambrian quartzite boulders. We suggest that this conglomerate substrate provides a stable nucleation point that promotes the development and preservation of the lobe-shaped microbial deposits. Microbial deposits may also have protected the conglomerate substrate from erosional processes and thereby increased the preservation potential of the lobe-shaped structure. Based on the characteristics of the conglomerate (e.g. grain size, texture) and its location (i.e. 200 m beyond the average shoreline), this lobe-shaped structure likely results from subaqueous debris or a hyperconcentrated density flow that transports sedimentary material from the Buffalo Point slopes downward to the shore. We estimate the age of the conglomerate deposition to be between 21 and 12 ka BP. The initiation of the flow may have been triggered by various mechanisms, but the existence of a major active normal fault in the vicinity of these deposits suggests that an earthquake could have destabilized the accumulated sediments and resulted in conglomerate emplacement. The catastrophic 15 ka BP Bonneville Flood, which led to a drop in the lake level (approximately 110 m), may also provide an explanation for the initiation of the flow.
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Dates and versions

hal-01326530 , version 1 (03-06-2016)

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Anthony Bouton, Emmanuelle Vennin, Thierry Mulder, Aurélie Pace, Raphaël Bourillot, et al.. Enhanced development of lacustrine microbialites on gravity flow deposits, Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA.. Sedimentary Geology, 2016, 341, pp.1-12. ⟨10.1016/j.sedgeo.2016.05.004⟩. ⟨hal-01326530⟩
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