THE CARBONATE FRACTION OF BEACH AND DUNE SANDS

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SUMMARY

The sand size carbonate fractions of beach and dune sands from the southeastern U.S. Atlantic coast were investigated from the standpoint of mineralogy, roundness and size distribution. The carbonate fractions of beach-dune sands used in this study range in abundance from less than 1% to over 40% and average about 10%. Calcium carbonate is least abundant in Georgia beaches and increases slightly to the north and greatly to the south. The size distribution of the carbonate fraction is similar to that of the non-carbonate fraction since both have been distributed by the same processes. The variable flat shape of calcareous fragments causes the carbonate fraction to be usually coarser and more poorly sorted than the acid insoluble residues of the samples. No regional relationship between roundness and wave energies was found in sand size materials although field observations indicate high energies strikingly round gravel sized calcareous fragments. There is some tendency for angularity to increase with decreasing grain size in the sand sizes as with quartz grains. The mineralogy of beach sand carbonate fractions is characterized by the almost total absence of high My calcite. Aragonite is the dominant mineral.

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