Abstract

Storm infilling of deep, open Callianassa burrows with molluscan to peloidal packstone was the dominant style of preservable sedimentation produced by the passage of Hurricane Kate across Caicos Platform, British West Indies, on 18 November 1985. This moderate hurricane was the first to affect an actively studied portion of the carbonate platform environments of the south Florida-Bahama region in 19 years, a time during which many of our concepts of storm sedimentation have evolved. Prior to Hurricane Kate, much of the shallow-platform interior peloidal packstone to grapestone grainstone had a sparse seagrass cover and a highly irregular bottom caused by abundant Callianassa mounds. Hurricane Kate flattened the mounded bottom of the platform interior and caused minor smothering and erosion of the seagrass beds. A thin, surficial tempestite, though deposited over much of the platform, was difficult to identify because it lacked a coarse base. Instead, much of the reworked surface sediment poured down the large Callianassa burrow entrances and filled the vast burrow networks with either a coarse molluscan packstone or peloidal-skeletal packstone. Storm-burrow filling (tubular tempestites) effectively removed the coarse fraction from contributing to a surficial storm layer. Ten percent of the upper 75 cm of platform interior sediment consists of tubular tempestites from Hurricane Kate.

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