Principles of Tidal Sedimentology

pp 537-565


Tidal Sands of the Bahamian Archipelago

  • Eugene C. RankeyAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, University of Kansas Email author 
  • , Stacy Lynn ReederAffiliated withSchlumberger-Doll Research

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Tidal sands consisting entirely of carbonate sediments are ubiquitous in the Bahamian archipelago. These sands include a diversity of sediment types, including ooids, peloids, and skeletal fragments. Sands transported by tides, waves, and currents create barforms in tidal sand complexes with a range of shapes and sizes. These features are shaped by, and in turn modify, tidal currents that move on and off the shallow platforms; waves and wave-driven currents play a subordinate but locally important role in their genesis and architecture. Collectively, barforms make up shallow shoal complexes. These shoal complexes are focused in areas with elevated tidal currents (locally in excess of 200 cm/s) near platform margins, and can exceed 10 km in width. The diversity of barforms and shoal morphology evident in Holocene examples is reflected in the stratigraphic record of numerous ancient tidal sand shoals, with preservation favored by the early cementation ubiquitous in these carbonate systems.