Hydrodynamic control of whitings on Great Bahama Bank

Sam Purkis, Geórgenes Cavalcante, Liisa Rohtla, Amanda M. Oehlert, Paul (Mitch) Harris, Peter K Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The term "whiting" has been used to describe occurrences of lime mud precipitated directly from both marine and fresh waters. As a result of the contribution of whitings to the Bahamas sedimentary record, considerable effort has been applied to understand the triggers and mechanisms of precipitation in this locality. Based on satellite observations and hydrodynamic modeling on Great Bahama Bank (GBB), we propose the existence of a teleconnection between platformtop circulation patterns and off-platform currents, in particular the Florida Current. This connection serves to trigger whitings and control their spatial and temporal distribution. The zone of most intense whitings corresponds to the limit of the most pronounced incursion of the Florida Current atop GBB. Whitings are more prevalent and widespread in winter than summer, patterns that might be linked to seasonality in platform-top current direction. This study provides the first empirical evidence that whiting formation might be coupled to off-platform circulation patterns, a finding of direct significance to understanding the sedimentology of isolated carbonate platforms in modern and ancient oceans alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-942
Number of pages4
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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