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Bioherms and Biostromes

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Part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series book series (EESS)

Definitions and history

The words were coined by Cumings (1932), a bioherm being defined as a mound or lens-shaped organic build-up, edified by the skeletons of various organisms and lying unconformably inside a stratigraphic series of different lithology. Conversely, a biostrome is a flat layered reef structure, wide or narrow in shape and causing no stratigraphic disturbance inside its sedimentary environment. In this original meaning both formations were conceived as stratigraphic units and neither the biotic conditions for their development nor steric disposition of their elements were taken into account.

  • For the Encyclopaedia Britannica a bioherm is defined as “an ancient organic reef of moundlike form built by a variety of marine invertebrates (and coralline algae). A structure built by similar organisms that is bedded but not moundlike is called a biostrome.”

  • For Battistini et al. (1975) a bioherm is a: “lens-shaped organic reef… embedded in situ inside sedimentary layers of...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_187
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Bibliography

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  • Cumings, E. R., 1932. Reefs or bioherms? Geological Society of America Bulletin, 43, 331–352.

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  • Kershaw, S., 1994 Classification and geological significance of biostromes. Facies, 31(1), 89–91.

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Laborel, J.L. (2011). Bioherms and Biostromes. In: Hopley, D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_187

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