Mineralogical variation in lagoonal carbonates from North sound, grand Cayman Island (British West Indies)

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Significant differences in proportions of carbonate minerals were found to exist between environments and size fractions in unconsolidated surface sediments from North Sound, Grand Cayman Island. A consistent carbonate mineral imbalance occurs between the sand-sized and silt/clay-sized fractions. High-Mg calcite is high and aragonite is low in in the fine as compared in the coarse fraction. The magnitude of difference in mineralogical content between size fractions is the same in all four major environmental subdivisions of the sound. The most probable explanation is differential particle size reduction of skeletal grains. This process is biased toward the least resistant grains, most of which are composed of high-Mg calcite. General covariance of mineralogical characteristics between fine- and coarse-sized fractions suggests that the origin of the fines is strongly related to in situ degradation of coarse material. © 1971.

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Sedimentary Geology

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