A. E. Adams; W. S. MacKenzie:

A Colour Atlas of Carbonate Sediments and Rocks Under the Microscope

W.S. Manson Publishing

1998. 1. edition, 180 pages, 330 colour photos, 20x27cm, 650 g
Language: English

ISBN 978-3-510-65193-1, paperback

availability and price on request

BibTeX file


geology carbonate sediment rock grain texture


Description of Contents top ↑

More than half of the world's petroleum is to be found in carbonate rocks, for example in the Middle East, the former USSR and in North America. These rocks show a bewildering diversity of grains and textures, due in part to the wealth of different fossil organisms which have contributed to carbonate sedimentation, and in part to a wide variety of diagenetic processes which can radically modify textures and obscure the depositional fabric. Careful petrographic study with a polarizing microscope is a key element of any study of carbonate sediments, as a companion to field or core logging, and as a necessary precursor to geochemical analysis. This atlas, which illustrates in full colour a range of features not attempted in any general texthook, is designed as a laboratory manual to keep beside the microscope, as an aid to identifying grain types and textures in carbonates. It will appeal alike to undergraduate and graduate students and to professionals in teaching institutions, research laboratories and industry.

Preface top ↑

Examination of thin sections under the microscope is a key part of any study of carbonate sediments, as a companion to field or core logging, and as a necessary precursor to geochemical analysis. This book is designed as a laboratory manual to keep beside the microscope as an aid to identifying grain types and textures in carbonates. For the newcomer to the subject, carbonates can display a bewildering variety of grains, compared to sandstones, for example, and we hope this book will help to give confidence to those initial observations. By illustrating more than one example of common grains and textures, we hope that the more experienced practitioner will also find assistance in identifying the unfamiliar. However, such is the diversity of carbonate sediments, that it is impossible to be completely comprehensive and if we have omitted your favourite bioclast, then sorry! Throughout we have tried to show good, but typical rather than exceptional, examples of each feature. It has not been our intention to supply much interpretation except where this is necessary to explain the origin of features illustrated.

Two comments that we have received about previous atlases (Adams et al., 1984; MacKenzie & Adams, 1994) are worth mentioning here. Firstly, it is possible to claim that some photographs are over- or underexposed. Photography of carbonate sediments can be difficult, especially where there are micritic grains, which are almost opaque, set in a coarsely crystalline, clear sparite cement. The exposure has to be adjusted, such that, if the micritic grains are the subject of the picture, the cement may well appear overexposed, and if the cement is the subject, the grains will be underexposed and appear almost black. When using the microscope, the eye makes adjustments depending on what you are looking at, and in any case it is easy, and often necessary with carbonates, to vary the light intensity.

Secondly, we have been asked why we have not supplied a full petrographic description of a rock. We do not believe that this can be usefully done from a photograph, typically showing a field of view a few millimetres across. Carbonate rocks can vary such that no one field of view is representative of the whole rock This is particularly true of coarser packstones and grainstones with a mixture of grain types. Those wanting a format for a full petrographic description are directed to Flügel (1982) and Harwood (1988).

We have avoided using abbreviations in the text, but in each plate caption we have used the abbreviation 'PPL' for plane-polarised light and 'XPL' for pictures taken with polare crossed. Finally, we hope that readers whatever their level of interest in carbonate sedimentology, will, by browsing through this atlas, be able to appreciate just a little of the wonder of the geological world as revealed under the microscope, and share our excitement at the beauty and variety of natural textures seen in carbonates.

Bespr.:Mitt.d.Verbandes d.Dt.Höhlen-u.Karstforscher,Nr.3/2000 top ↑

In hervorragender Druckqualität kommen die Autoren in diesem Atlas der Karbonarischen Sedimente und Gesteine unter dem Mikroskop sehr schnell zum Thema. In der Einführung werden kurz die Komponentengruppen der Karbonatischen Gesteine beschrieben, gefolgt von den Methoden der Dünschliffbearbeitung, wie Färbetechniken um die Komponenten sichtbar zu machen.

Das Buch ist einfach aber übersichtlich und leicht verständlich gegliedert: Es folgt der Abschnitt Rindenkörner; dann das Kapitel Peloide, Aggregatkörner, Intraklasten und Lithoklasten; darauf folgt der Teil Bioklasten; der Abschnitt Diagenese; dann Porosität; Kalksteinklassifikation und weiter Kathodenluminiszens. Ein kurzes, aber dennoch umfassendes Literaturverzeichnis beschließt das Buch. Dem Leser werden am vorliegenden Werk eine große Anzahl von Gesteinsdünnschliffen vorgestellt: Diese wurden nach allen Regeln der geologischen Kunst bearbeitet um strukturelle Feinheiten, Fossilinhalte oder den Chemismus erkennbar zu machen. Es werden alle wesentlichen Formen der Rindenkörner dargestellt. Im Abschnitt Bioklasten werden alle größeren Fossilgruppen beschrieben, deren karbonarische, biogenen Reste als sogenannte Bioklasten im Dünnschliff "gesteinsbildend" auftreten können. Die sehr aussagekräftigen Dünnschliffabbildungen und -beschreibungen erleichtern dem Leser das Wiedererkennen der Strukturen im "eigenen" Gesteinsdünnschliff.

Es ist ein lohnenswerter Atlas, der durch seine Abbildungsqualität besticht und Spaß macht zu lesen.

Stephan J. Marks

Mitt. des Verbandes der Deutschen Höhlen- u. Karstforscher, Nr.3/2000

Contents top ↑

Preface 4
Acknowledgements 5
Introduction 6
Coated Grains 9
Peloids, Aggregate Grains, Intraclasts and Lithoclasts 23
Bioclasts 32
Diagenesis 101
Porosity 156
Limestone Classification 164
Cathodoluminescence 168
Bibliography 176
Index 177