The formation and distribution of modern ooids on great bahama bank

Paul Mitch Harris, Mara R. Diaz, Gregor P. Eberli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Great Bahama Bank (GBB) is the principal location of the formation and accumulation of ooids (concentrically coated, sand-size carbonate grains) in the world today, and as such has been the focus of studies on all aspects of ooids for more than half a century. Our view from a close look at this vast body of literature coupled with our continuing interests stresses that biological mechanisms (microbially mediated organomineralization) are very important in the formation of ooids, whereas the controlling factor for the distribution and size of ooid sand bodies is the physical energy. Mapping and coring studies of the modern ooid sand bodies on GBB provide insight into the rock record from different perspectives. An important consequence of the dual influence of ooid formation and distribution is that the geochemical signature of ooids is not in equilibrium with the seawater in which ooids form; therefore, extracting the paleophysical energy record from oolitic deposits is potentially more accurate than doing so for the paleochemical record.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-516
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Marine Science
StatePublished - Jan 3 2019


  • DTM
  • EPS biofilm
  • GBB
  • Great Bahama Bank
  • digital terrain model
  • ooid
  • organomineralization
  • sand body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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