Seds Online Great Debate (SOGD 4): The Origin of Carbonate Mud

John Reijmer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Laura O’Connell (Southern Illinois University), Paul Wright (National Museum of Wales), Linda Kah (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

The origin of carbonate mud is a topic of debate between two main theories: biogenic and abiogenic origin. The biogenic side suggests that carbonate mud is primarily formed from the accumulation of skeletal debris and fecal pellets of marine organisms such as foraminifera, mollusks, and corals, among others. This position also proposes that microbial activity plays a crucial role in carbonate precipitation, dissolution, and re-precipitation.On the other hand, the abiogenic side proposes that carbonate mud is primarily formed from the precipitation of inorganic minerals, such as aragonite and calcite, through physical and chemical processes in the marine environment. This position suggests that sedimentation and diagenesis play significant roles in the formation and alteration of carbonate mud.

While both positions have some evidence to support them, the debate on the origin of carbonate mud remains in debate. Some scientists argue that both biogenic and abiogenic processes are involved in the formation of carbonate mud, and the relative contribution of each process may vary depending on local environmental conditions. Join us for an exciting debate on the origin of carbonate mud, where Linda Kah, John Reijmer, Laura O’Connell and Paul Wright will discuss and explore the evidence for both biogenic and abiogenic positions.