Figure 1. Summary figure of main types of known proxy structures resulting from microbial mat-related processes within sandy sediments, arranged according to genesis of the features. (Reprinted from Schieber, 2004, Fig. 7-9.1. With permission from Elsevier.)

oo c.1.8 Ga Waterberg Group of South Africa, and from modern supratidal settings, analogous to epeiric sea coastline settings from the Precambrian; both provide examples of the extreme environments where cyanobacteria survive today in the face of metazoan predators in the more favorable settings.

The two chosen environments are superficially comparable: highly saline shallow water pools and temporary inundations are likely, and desiccation is important in both, as will eventual mat destruction be. However, the two extreme settings will also display significant differences in the assembly of mat-related features typically preserved from the two settings, and in their genesis. Our paper attempts to address these facets.

3. The Waterberg Group: Inferred Mat-Related Features and Their Genesis

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