Jürgen Kroppa, Arthur Blocka, Werner von Bloha Thomas Klenkeb, Hans-Joachim Schellnhubera
Sedimentary Geology 109, 37-51 (1997)
aPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK),
Telegrafenberg, P.O. Box 60 12 03, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany.
bInstitute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, P.O. Box 2503, D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany
Structure resulting from biogenic carbonate sedimentation of microbial mats in
Recent siliclastic tidal flat sediments of the North Sea are analyzed quantitatively by a novel combination of scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM/EDX) imaging and subsequent multifractal analysis.
Evaluation of calcium distribution patterns and their links to sediment-intrinsic mineralization processes show that the applied geometrical technique is an
efficient tool for detecting microscopic variations in elemental distributions
and related minerals within sedimentary matrices. Two main conclusions can be
drawn: (i) magnesian calcite is a rapidly formed product of the early diagenesis
of organic matter in Recent bioactive marine sediments; and (ii) multifractal
spectra are measures for the spatial inhomogeneity of authigenic calcification
processes acting on the sedimentary structure. This implies that elemental distribution patterns in a sedimentary system are scale-independent phenomena. The
detection of multifractal measures alsp opens a way towards a systematic survey
of dynamic processes occuring in sedimentary structures.
Keywords: Early diagenesis, Carbonate cements, Microbial mats, Fractals, SEM/EDX