Thursday, May 28, 2009

Online Books On Carbonate Geology

Wiley Interscience maintains quite an extensive archive of online geology books. I've bookmarked a couple of their journals and usually go over to browse through the latest issue of Basin Research and decided to explore the site further. 
There's lots to catch the attention of sedimentary geologists.  Here is a list of online books available on carbonates:
There is plenty for clastic sedimentary geologists too and other books on related topics of sedimentation and tectonics. 
This one caught my eye: PreCambrian Sedimentary Environments
I first developed an interest in carbonate sedimentology during a graduate mapping project in the Proterozoic Cuddapah basin of south India.  It was a sequence of stromatolite dolostones, limestones and quartz arenites exposed mostly along the south dipping limbs of an anticline. 
You can see the dip slopes in the image below.
The hard part of working on Proterozoic carbonates was that most books and atlases on sedimentary lab training use fossiliferous Phanerozoic carbonates as examples for descriptions of carbonate textures and grains and fabrics. And the Proterozoic textures I was looking at were to me at first clear as mud.
I mean that literally. All I saw in those rocks was carbonate mud.
What strikes you about Proterozoic carbonates when you have looked at a lot of them is the overall rarity of sand facies. That's due to the absence of metazoans which started contributing skeletal particles and fecal pellets begining Phanerozoic times. Ooids and intraclasts do occur but they are spatially restricted. But there are lots of weird and wonderful fabrics and cements in these rocks. PreCambrian carbonate platforms were dominated by microbial communities and chemical precipitates and these do form environment diagnostic associations,  just like Phanerozoic facies.
It took getting used to but I was hooked. I do wish though that someone would create a lab handbook which documents Proterozoic carbonate microfabrics and microfacies (would be a great post series too). That would make a most helpful reference manual for carbonate sedimentologists.
Oh.. all these books are pay access...but it really is a bonanza if you have a subscription through your University or otherwise.


  1. this is a good resource ... thanks

  2. That looks so cool! What a shame I have no access via university subscriptions to this, they think we are smart enough and don't need it :(

  3. ya, i was surprised to see such a large collection, but ... I guess even many Universities have not caught up with the rapid digitization of books and may not be subscribing to this.

    that may change though as libraries slowly shed their print subscriptions.

  4. I am afraid our libary here is also sheding the digital subscriptions. For a lot of important journals we have never print nor online acces these days. :(

  5. that's a shame! Is that a common trend in Universities all over Germany?

  6. yeap...My University doesn´t have subscription to wiley - blackwell interscience either (just science direct, wich is great, tough), but I also like carbonate sedimentology and I've realized that most of the papers in his area are edited by them (wiley...).

    I will continue with my "unportable" Flügel Big Book, haha.

    Greetings from Argentina.

  7. Sorry to letting you wait for my answer Suvrat: This tendency can be seen in a number of german universities that have a geoscience department. However, there are also maintaining a good subscriptions list. It is hard to generalise because I only know the situation from 2 universites from my own experience.