Eerie shapes athwart microbial layer stacks - (5)
deutsche Version
Microbial layer stacks are not rare in the red Permian cherts from Doehlen Basin. They may appear more or less plane, deformed, torn, or broken, which need not give rise to wonder. Wondrous and even disturbing are the occasionally observed distinct red structures mimicking big or small cracks but, after closer inspection, turn out no such. This becomes obvious by making use of the above-mentioned layer stacks as reference frames in the chert which would immediately reveal any displacement caused by wide cracks before final silicification.
eerie shape in layer stack
Fig.1 (right): Enigmatic shapes resembling wide gel cracks without having caused any disturbance in the orderly stack of microbial layers, thus looking like spooky objects. Image width 3.5mm.

Fig.2 (below): Enigmatic thick red plate penetrating a microbial layer stack.

Image width 5mm.
red plate

As a surprising result, there is no indication of displacements related to the enigmatic red structures. This is well seen with the egg-shaped enclosure in Fig.1, where the "egg shell" is mainly composed of tiny parts of the microbial layers stained red.
Hence, what looks like cracks with red fill in Figs.1,2 is no such. It is a crack-shaped space in the chert which never had been a crack but is bounded as if by smooth crack faces. Since there seem to be no material boundaries to the crack-shaped red space, and the red fill of hematite must have formed from iron ions which got there by diffusion, it is highly wondrous why the staining process was strictly confined to within definite bounds.

The phenomenon of spooky red formations in chert as described in  Permian Chert News 18, 27, 28, 36 has remained so enigmatic that no explanation is proposed here. New finds with related shapes will be commented on.
(Fig.1 had been shown before in 28.)
Samples: old fragments of a Lower Permian chert layer, found among glacial river deposits at Hänichen, H/375.1(1999), and Wilmsdorf, W/8.1 (1991);
    Döhlen basin, Freital near Dresden, Saxony.

H.-J. Weiss      2022
Scolecopteris pinnule cross-section, Sardinia Permian Chert News37
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