Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

2011 Edition
| Editors: David Hopley


  • Ian G. Macintyre
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_110



Micrite is a textural term for microcrystalline carbonates less that 4 μm in size.


The term “micrite” is a contraction of the words “microcrystalline calcite” and was introduced by Folk (1959, p. 8) as an aid in the classification of limestones. Initially, Folk applied the term to microcrystalline calcite ooze in the size range of 1–4 μm. Adding a prefix, he coined terms such as “biomicrite” to refer to fossils in a microcrystalline matrix. In 1974, Folk expanded the meaning of the term “micrite” to encompass all carbonate minerals measuring 1–4 μm. He also added a new term “minimicrite” for sizes less than 1 μm.

Bathurst (1966) applied Folk’s terminology to refer to the process of grain surface alteration to micrite caused by microborings filled with micrite precipitates as “micritization”. However, Friedman (1985) thought that Bathurst and others who used his terminology (e.g., Lloyd, 1971; Gunatilska, 1976; Kobluk and Risk, 1977...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian G. Macintyre
    • 1
  1. 1.Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural HistoryWashingtonUSA