Precipitation of Oöids and Other Aragonite Fabrics in Warm Seas

  • R. G. C. Bathurst


The precipitation of CaCO3 from tropical sea water yields aragonite in four fabrics: oöids, needles, cement in grapestone, and intragranular filling. Reasons for this varied precipitation are tentatively considered. The stability of aragonite in sea water seems to depend on adsorption of hydrated Mg2+ on calcite so inhibiting its growth and on the, probably, less negative free energy of formation of magnesian calcite compared with calcite. In oölitic coats the tangential orientation of optic axes may depend upon “slow” adsorption of fragments of aragonitic monolayer already present in the water. The role of agitation in oöid growth is uncertain. The maximum size of oöids at about 1 mm may reflect a balance between growth and abrasion. The geographic distribution of the four fabrics seems to depend mainly on the amount of movement of the bed load.


Standard Free Energy Crystal Face Magnesian Calcite Negative Free Energy Beach Rock 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. C. Bathurst
    • 1
  1. 1.The Jane Herdman Laboratories of GeologyUniversity of LiverpoolEngland

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