Top 100 Landmark Papers Top 10 Most Influential Books In Carbonate Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Diagenesis

Top 10 Most Influential Books In Carbonate Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Diagenesis

Paul (Mitch) Harris and Paul Wright (Co-Chairs)

Giovanna Della Porta


The list was drawn up following responses from carbonate specialists who provided an initial list of papers from which a short list was compiled, from which they then selected this list. The specialists were specifically chosen to gather input from an international, varied experience level, and both academic and industry point of view. Thanks to Marc Aurell, Juan Ignacio Baceta, Beatrix Badenas, Jean Borgomano, Dan Bosence, Dave Budd, Trevor Burchette, Nancy Chow, Giovanna Della Porta, Annette George, Jim Hendry, Cathy Hollis, Noel James, Cedric John, Brian Jones, Gareth Jones, Jeroen Kenter, Steve Lokier, Leslie Melim, Axel Munnecke, Ted Playton, Luis Pomar, Sam Purkis, Gene Rankey, Elias Samankassou, Andre Strasser, Peter Swart, Maurice Tucker, Hildegard Westphal, Moyra Wilson, Fiona Whitaker, and Rachel Wood.

Paul Wright, Giovanna Della Porta, and Mitch Harris prepared the write-ups for the books.

Landmark Books (in alphabetical order)

Bathurst, R. G. C., 1975, Carbonate Sediments and Their Diagenesis: New York, Elsevier Science Publ. Co., 658 p.

This classic influential carbonate contribution became a fundamental text that has influenced all aspects of carbonate research and specifically diagenesis.

Flugel, E., 2004, Microfacies of Carbonate Rocks: Heidelberg, Springer, 976 p.  

This book, like the earlier version, is an irreplaceable contribution to understanding carbonate microfacies through time linked to the depositional environment, which is the basis of interpreting carbonate rocks. It is characterised by a level of detail of unmatched quality.

James, N. P. and J. D. A. Clarke, eds., 1997, Cool-Water Carbonates: SEPM Special Publication 56, 440p.

This volume provides a critical synthesis of modern non-tropical carbonate settings with examples, as well as a wide variety of additional examples from the geological record.

Moore, C. H. (various editions including with Wade, W., 2013), Carbonate reservoirs: porosity and diagenesis in a stratigraphic framework, New York, Elsevier Scientific Publ. Co., 392 p.  

This book, in its various editions, has been the main text for applied carbonate sedimentology for more than a generation. The integration of reservoir case studies supported by clear exposition of the chemical controls on porosity formation have made this book an invaluable contribution to reservoir studies.

Morse, J. W., and F. T. Mackenzie, 1990, Geochemistry of Sedimentary Carbonates: New York, Elsevier Scientific Publ. Co., 696 p.

This book provides an essential knowledge of the chemical processes resulting in carbonate sediment formation and diagenetic transformation within the global framework of the ocean carbonate reservoir and global carbon cycle.

Purser, B. H., ed., 1973, The Persian Gulf: Holocene carbonate sedimentation and diagenesis in a shallow epicontinental sea: Heidelberg, Springer-Verlag, 471 p. 

This book provided an important counter-point to studies of the Florida-Caribbean carbonate province and focussed on the Holocene sediments, depositional facies and diagenesis of the Persian Gulf arid zone ramp. In doing so it provided a key to understanding large sections of the geological record.

Schlager, W., 2005, Carbonate sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy: SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology, v. 8, 200 p.

Schlager provided here what could be seen as the first modern synthesis integrating, via a quantitative approach, the key controls on carbonate deposition with the main carbonate factories, linking to sequence stratigraphic and seismic stratigraphic aspects.

Scholle, P.A., D. G. Bebout, and C. H Moore, eds., 1983, Carbonate Depositional Environments: AAPG Memoir 33, 708 p.   

A well-illustrated overview of the spectrum of carbonate depositional environments and aspects of their diagenesis, which proved to be invaluable as a starting point for characterizing and interpreting carbonates. View the first chapter or buy it from the AAPG Store.

Tucker, M. W. & V. P. Wright, 1990, Carbonate Sedimentology: Oxford, Wiley, 482 p.

This book has been an essential contribution providing an advanced introduction to carbonate sedimentology and diagenesis, supported by a wealth of case studies from the geological record from marine to lacustrine settings.

Wilson, J. L., 1975, Carbonate Facies in Geologic History: New York, Springer Verlag, 471 p.

Wilson's historical review of age specific variations in the carbonate rock record became a critical text for several generations of sedimentologists.  It was a landmark book greatly influencing subsequent research and complementing Bathurst's book on environments and diagenesis.

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