Abstract

Modern ooids are forming and accumulating as beach-dune complexes which face into and prograde across the very shallow, broad, low-energy Caicos Bank. This contrasts with other modern oolite occurrences that are located at shelf margins or at the heads of steep ramps facing deeper water where tidal energy plays an important role in ooid generation. Ooid quality and distribution coupled with radiocarbon dating indicates that the Caicos ooids are forming in the beach and shoreface environment in response to wave and current agitation generated by prevailing southeasterly trade winds. The Caicos model is a useful analog for many ancient sheetlike oolite accumulations deposited on broad, epeiric shelves or gently sloping ramps.

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