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Book Chapter

Carbonate facies models

January 01, 2005


Carbonate rocks often overwhelm the untrained eye by a bewildering variety of textures, structures and grain types. Patchy diagenesis adds to the impression of almost chaotic diversity and irregularity. Upon closer inspection, the situation is not nearly as bad. If carbonate sediments are characterized by sedimentary structure, texture and grain kind, a recurring succession of facies belts can be recognized in shore-to-basin transects. These facies appear throughout the Phanerozoic and with only slight modification also in the late Precambrian. This surprising persistence indicates that the evolution of organisms in this time interval had only a modifying effect on the basic carbonate facies. The standard carbonate facies seem to capture trends dictated by other parameters such as the carbonate growth function, i.e. the distribution of growth rates as a function of depth and distance from shore, the degree of protection from waves and tidal currents, and the degree of restriction in the water exchange with the open sea. On the slopes, the declivity and the the balance between sedimentation and erosion are crucial controls. These principles are discussed in the next section, followed by a presentation of facies on ramps and rimmed platforms.

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SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology

Carbonate Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy

Wolfgang Schlager
Wolfgang Schlager
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
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January 01, 2005




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