This book describes microbially induced sedimentary structures as new group in the Classification of Primary Sedimentary Structures. Those structures rise from the interaction of benthic microorganisms with physical sediment dynamics caused by waves and currents. We can observe the formation of those features today in modern coastal settings, where the structures are much more common than stromatolites. However, fossil structures occur since the earliest Archean, and are abundant throughout Earth history. The structures constitute a significant archive for the understanding of Earth's earliest worlds, and are important biosignatures for the detection of life on other planets. This book is for sedimentologists, paleontologists, microbiologists, and geobiologists likewise.
Nora Noffke is Associate Professor for Geobiology at Old Dominion University; Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences; For her research she has received the SEPM James Lee Wilson Award 2007, the GSA Fellowship 2007, and is nominated for the AAAS Fellowship 2008; Nora Noffke is Vice Chair of the GSA Division for Geobiology and Geomicrobiology, Member of the Council of GSW in Washington, and served for the NASA Astrobiology science definition team, Mars Exploration Rover.