Further remarks on the role of pro-thrombolites in the origin of coastal lagoons for Northwestern Mexico

David Alfaro Siqueiros Beltrones, Óscar Ubisha Hernández Almeida, Janette Magalli Murillo Jiménez


Along the margins of coastal lagoons in Baja California Sur, Mexico, cyanobacteria-dominated communities form thick mats that eventually generate consolidated mud platforms or pro-thrombolites (unlithified thrombolites). Pro-thrombolite platforms grow seaward and form spits that alter water flow and promote sand deposition that develop into barriers, thus influencing coastal geomorphology, promoting lagoon formation. In this paper we provide evidences on the role of pro-thrombolites in the generation of coastal lagoons that includes different regions of NW Mexico where pro-thrombolite and/or thrombolithic platforms are common. In Bahía Magdalena, desiccating microbial mats are dominated by Microcoleus chthonoplastes Thuret ex Gomont and their remaining empty sheats occur together with lithified structures (thrombolites) cemented with micrite, considered of biotic origin. Previously proposed as a lacunar process, it is now suggested that pro-thrombolithic development leading to coastal lagoon formation actually occurs in non-lacunar environments with similar hidrological conditions. Likewise, this process is further enhanced once the coastal lagoon has been formed. We also suggest that the establishment of mangrove forests is indeed preceded by the formation of prothrombolithic platforms that provide a stabilized substrate for these plants in tropical and subtropical coastal lagoons.

Palabras clave

Coastal lagoons; Cyanophyte mats; geomorphology; pro-thrombolites.

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