Theoretical Article

Classification of biogenic carbonate rocks



Ya-Sheng Wu1,2,3

1Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China.

2Innovation Academy for Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China.

3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.

*Corresponding author: 


All rocks formed by macroorganisms and microbes belong to bioliths, which are divided into macrobioliths and microbioliths. The macrobioliths are divided into the biolithites, i.e., reef rocks formed by macroorganisms, and the bioallolites composed of the skeletal grains and micrites formed by macroorganisms. The microbioliths are divided into calcimicroliths, ferromicroliths, mangamicroliths, and claymicroliths. The calcimicroliths are divided into microlithites (i.e., the reef rocks formed by microbes), microbialites, and the microallolites consisting of the grains formed from microlithites and microbialites and the micrites formed by microbes. The microlithite includes the framelite with a framework built by in situ skeletons of up-growing benthic microbes, bafflelite, and the filalite having a framework built by the in situ skeletons of soft filamentous microbes. Dendrolite is a specific kind of framelite. The microbialite includes stromatolite, laminate, thrombolite, crustolite, and oncolite. 

Key words:  Bioliestone, framelite, bafflelite, filalite, crustolite, dendrolite, micromicrites.