Current major research on the subject
of stromatolites began during the 1960s. Until then it was thought
that stromatolites could only form in marine intertidal areas. Now
it known that stromatolites can form in a wide range of environments.
It is believed that they can form in almost any free-standing body of water,
if the following conditions are met:
Stromatolites at Salt Lagon, Baja,California
the environment is suitable for the growth of appropriate
the rate of growth of the constructing microorganisms exceeds
their rate of consumption by other organisms
the rate of sedimentation is sufficient to produce
a preservable structure but is not so great as to prevent colonization
the stromatolites accrete faster than they can be destroyed
by boring and burrowing organisms and erosive and other mechanical
and chemical forces.