Microbialites in Puna Argentina

November 16, 2022



Photographer: Carlos Di Nallo  
Summary Author: Carlos Di Nallo  

In the lagoon shown above, in the Catamarca province of Argentina, modern microbialites can be observed. These ecosystems are "living rocks" formed by diatom microorganisms and by various minerals. They’re among the oldest ecosystems on our planet and dominated it for 3-billion years, producing large amounts of oxygen and are even responsible for helping to create the ozone layer.

Today, they’re found in remote areas of northwestern Argentina, an environment similar to that of many regions on Earth millions of years ago -- high solar radiation and salinity conditions. They were discovered by the Argentine scientist Dr. Maria Eugenia Farias. Photo taken on May 15, 2022.

Antofagasta de la Sierra, Catamarca, Argentina Coordinates: -26.066667, -67.416667

Related Links:

Diatom Microscopy