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This review of marine, cool-water carbonate ramps considers both their defining features and the key publications relating to them. Cool-water carbonate environments are dominated by open, skeletal debris-covered sea bottoms which support biological assemblages devoid of hermatypic coral reefs, calcified green algae and non-skeletal grains. The growing body of modern literature deals mainly with Neogene to Recent examples, particularly from the Australian, New Zealand and Mediterranean regions. Nevertheless, many ancient examples have been recognized and, without doubt, many more – currently described as 'tropical carbonates' – will also be found to be cool-water examples.

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