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Abstract

The trade-wind belt of the southeastern Bahamas provides a setting for wind-wave-generated oolitic sands and sand bodies that contrast dramatically with the tidal-generated oolitic sands and sand bodies of the northern Bahamas, which are restricted to shoals near the platform margins where tidal flow is strong.

In the southeastern Bahamas (Caicos Platform), waves from brisk prevailing trade winds and from open ocean swells provide intermittent bottom agitation for ooid formation. These mechanisms are producing thick and widespread oolitic grainstones of two types in four settings. Regular concentric ooids are forming on (a) wind-wave-agitated shallow subtidal and shoreface settings on the platform interior and (b) ocean-wave-agitated shorefaces facing the platform margin. These are forming stratified, prograding strand plains and are undergoing early meteoric and brine diagenesis. Irregular ooids are forming (c) broad banks and (d) widespread subtidal sheets in areas of intermittent wind-wave agitation across the platform interior.

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