3. Carbonate Grain Associations: their Use and Environmental Significance, a Brief Review

  1. Maria Mutti3,
  2. Werner Piller4 and
  3. Christian Betzler5
  1. Pascal Kindler1 and
  2. Moyra E.J. Wilson2

Published Online: 3 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118398364.ch3

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition

How to Cite

Kindler, P. and Wilson, M. E.J. (2012) Carbonate Grain Associations: their Use and Environmental Significance, a Brief Review, in Carbonate Systems during the Oligocene-Miocene Climatic Transition (eds M. Mutti, W. Piller and C. Betzler), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118398364.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften Universität Potsdam, Postfach 60 15 53 D-14415 Potsdam, Germany

  2. 4

    Institute for Earth Sciences (Geology & Paleontology) University of Graz, Heinrichstrasse 26, A-8010 Graz, Austria

  3. 5

    Geologisch-Palaeontologisches Institut, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geology and Palaeontology, 13, Rue des Maraichers, CH-1211, Geneva, Switzerland

  2. 2

    Department of Geological Sciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 4EL, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 5 APR 2012

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 42 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis6,7

Series Editor Information

  1. 6

    School of Geography, Geology and the Environment Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research, Kingston University London, UK

  2. 7

    Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444337914

Online ISBN: 9781118398364



  • Carbonate-grain associations;
  • classification;
  • nomenclature;
  • Cenozoic


A complex interplay of environmental factors may affect regionally important Cenozoic carbonate deposits, and a combination of different controls may result in comparable deposits. There is, therefore, a need for purely descriptive nomenclature to define regionally extensive groupings of carbonate deposits. This terminology is reviewed here. In addition to the well-established chlorozoan (or coralgal), chloralgal, foramol, rhodalgal, molechfor and bryomol definitions, two new terms, LB-foralgal and thermacor, are proposed. These purely descriptive groupings allow for good spatial and temporal subdivision of Cenozoic carbonate deposits. The continued use of objective terms for Cenozoic carbonate deposits does not preclude the use of other interpretative grainassociation terminology, and a two-tier system might be adopted. However, it should be clearly stated when groupings based on benthic components are being used purely descriptively, and therefore in an objective sense. It is hoped that this descriptive approach to regionally important deposits will help to promote objective discussions about controls on carbonate sedimentation and environmental change during the Cenozoic.