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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database
Journal of Sedimentary Research (SEPM)
Nature and Origin of Beach Rock: NOTES
D. R. Stoddart, J. R. Cann
According to R. J. Russell, beach rock (cemented beach sands characteristic of intertropical shores) is formed by the deposition of a calcite cement from ground water, between sand grains at the water table in beaches, with subsequent secondary cementation on exposure. Beach rocks from British Honduras, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, the Marshall Islands, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, however, have aragonite as the primary cement, with secondary filling of voids by calcite: the aragonite is probably derived from sea water. Beach rock is also found where the water table is absent for climatic or topographic reasons, and there is evidence that ground water is less supersaturated with calcium carbonate than sea water. Aragonite-cemented beach rock is intertidal in location and its cement of marine origin; it is to be distinguished from calcite-cemented eolianite, cay sandstone, promenade rock, and the "beach rock" described by Russell. Since Russell's theory is inapplicable in the British Honduras case, it is possible that beach rocks which appear superficially similar have diverse origins.
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