An amorphous Zn biomineralization (“white mud”), occurring at Naracauli stream, Sardinia, in association with cyanobacteria Leptolyngbya frigida and diatoms, was investigated by electron microscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Preliminary diffraction analysis shows that the precipitate sampled on Naracauli stream bed is mainly amorphous, with some peaks ascribable to quartz and phyllosilicates, plus few minor unattributed peaks. Scanning electron microscopy analysis shows that the white mud, precipitated in association with a seasonal biofilm, is made of sheaths rich in Zn, Si, and O, plus filaments likely made of organic matter. Transmission electron microscopy analysis shows that the sheaths are made of smaller units having a size in the range between 100 and 200 nm. X-ray absorption near-edge structure and extended X-ray absorption fine structure data collected at the Zn K-edge indicate that the biomineral has a local structure similar to hemimorphite, a zinc sorosilicate. The differences of this biomineral with respect to the hydrozincite biomineralization documented about 3 km upstream in the same Naracauli stream may be related to either variations in the physicochemical parameters and/or different metabolic behavior of the involved biota.
D., M., P., L., F., P., Meneghini, C., A., T., A., S., et al. (2014). The amorphous Zn biomineralization at Naracauli stream, Sardinia: electron microscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL, 21, 6775-6782 [10.1007/s11356-013-1886-4].