Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

2011 Edition
| Editors: David Hopley

Classification of Carbonates

  • Christopher G. St. C. Kendall
  • Peter Flood
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_269

Definition and introduction

Rocks are classified in order to communicate information about them. Limestone classifications are often intended to convey information about the composition and so, the depositional setting. All classifications of limestones tend to be rather arbitrary and they frequently overlap or do not fit one’s particular needs. Since binocular microscopes or hand lenses are the tools that are commonly available to the professional or academic geologist, a practical classification should be based on descriptions that use these tools. When these instruments are used, it is usually possible to identify the individual grains forming the rock. Thus, most classifications require that the most significant sedimentary particle in the rock be described. For instance, if a rock is composed of ooids, it is termed an oolitic limestone. If the limestone also contains a minor element such as skeletal fragments, then it is called a skeletal-oolitic limestone.

Two of the most widely...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Carrozzi, A. V., 1960. Microscopic Sedimentary Petrography. New York/London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Dunham, R. L., 1962. Classification of carbonate rocks according to depositional texture. Memoir American Association Petroleum Geologists, 1, 108–121.Google Scholar
  3. Embry, A. F., and Klovan, J. E., 1971. A late Devonian reef tract on Northeastern Banks Island, NWT. Canadian Petroleum Geology Bulletin, 19, 730–781.Google Scholar
  4. Folk, R. L., 1959. Practical petrographic classification of limestones. Bulletin American Association Petroleum Geologists, 43, 1–38.Google Scholar
  5. Folk, R. L., 1962. Spectral subdivision of limestone types. In Ham, W. E. (ed.), Classification of Carbonate Rocks. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir I, pp. 62–84.Google Scholar
  6. Folk, R. L., 1965. Some aspects of recrystallization in ancient limestones. Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (spec. pub.), 13, 14–48.Google Scholar
  7. Illing, L. V., 1954. Bahaman calcareous sands. Bulletin American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 38, 1–95.Google Scholar
  8. James, N. P., 1984. Shallowing-upwards sequences in carbonates. In Walker, R. G. (ed.), Facies Models. Canada: Geological Association of Canada, Geoscience Canada, (Rpr. Series 1), pp. 213–228.Google Scholar
  9. Pettijohn, F. J., 1952. Sedimentary Rocks. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
  10. Reid, R. P., Macintyre, I. G., and James, N. P., 1990. Internal precipitation of microcrystalline carbonate: a fundamental problems of sedimentologists. Sedimentary Geology, 68, 163–170.Google Scholar
  11. Scholle, P. A., and Ulmer-Scholle, D. S., 2003. A color guide to the petrography of carbonate rocks. AAPG Memoir, 77, 474.Google Scholar
  12. Twenhoffel, W. H., 1932. Treatise on Sedimentation. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  13. Wolf, K. H., 1961. An introduction to the classification of limestones. Neues Jahrbuch for Geology and Paleontology – Monatschefte, 5, 236–250.Google Scholar
  14. Wright, P. V., 1992. A revised classification of limestones. Sedimentary Geology, 76, 177–185.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher G. St. C. Kendall
    • 1
  • Peter Flood
    • 2
  1. 1.Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geological SciencesUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Emeritus Professor Earth SciencesUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia