11 things a geologist thinks an engineer should know about carbonate beaches

Edited by: Orville T. MagoonLisa L. Robbins, and Lesley Ewing



This is a review of the geological aspects of carbonate beaches that a geologist thinks may be useful for an engineer. Classical geologic problems of carbonate beaches, for example how ancient examples are recognized in rock sequences, are of little interest to engineers. Geologists not involved in engineering problems may find it difficult to know what an engineer should understand about carbonate beaches. Nevertheless, there are at least eleven topics that are potentially very useful for engineers to keep in mind. These eleven are chosen with as much thought going into what has been omitted as has been given to the eleven included topics. Some qualifications are in order: First, this paper does not discuss certain kinds of carbonate shorelines that are beyond the scope of engineering issues. For example, this review does not discuss very high-energy carbonate boulder beaches. These beaches are comprised of pieces of carbonate material ganging in size from ten centimeters to meters. Typically, these are high-energy storm deposits formed from pieces of either eroded carbonate rock or other large carbonate pieces such as pieces of large corals. This paper focuses on sand-sized (0.0625–2.0 mm) coastal carbonate deposits. Second, offshore beaches will not be discussed. There are many carbonate beaches that form on banks or shoals exposed at low tide, but our discussion is confined to what most people think of when they go to some tropical island and/or resort and walk out to lay on the beach. Third, this paper does not consider mixed carbonate/quartz sand beaches. While mixed beaches are common, only the end member of purely carbonate sand beaches is considered. Fourth, there will be no order of preference of the eleven topics. And lastly, these eleven topics are not consensus items. These are simply one geologist s thoughts about the aspects of carbonate beaches that would be useful for engineering colleagues to keep in mind. Where possible, general reference is made to textbooks that will lead the reader to extensive literature on carbonate sediments. Several of the topics are not so broad as to have had a large general treatment in texts, and in those cases some original literature is cited.
Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title 11 things a geologist thinks an engineer should know about carbonate beaches
DOI 10.1061/40640(305)1
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher American Society of Civil Engineers
Contributing office(s) Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Carbonate beaches 2000: First International Symposium on Carbonate Sand Beaches : conference proceedings, December 5-8, 2000, Westin Beach Resort, Key Largo, Florida, U.S.A.
First page 1
Last page 14
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