Clastic shallow marine systems can be grouped into wave- and tide-dominated systems, but carbonate successions are interpreted less commonly in this manner. In this study, Matheson and others document Mississippian-age carbonates with abundant physical sedimentary structures from the Canadian Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. The observations lead to development of a more comprehensive model of sedimentation across a swell-dominated, open-marine carbonate ramp. Comparing and contrasting shelf carbonate and siliciclastic sands suggest two primary differences: 1) in carbonate settings, there may be an increased preservation of deposits created by swell waves, and 2) that swaly cross-stratification in carbonate settings is not limited to the shoreface as it is in siliciclastic settings. These differences are due to the variability in spatial grain-size distributions and aggradation rates between siliciclastic and carbonate environments due in situ grain production in carbonate settings.
Swell-dominated carbonates on a Mississippian ramp in the Canadian Rocky Mountain front ranges by Edward J. Matheson, Robert W. Dalrymple, and Noel P. James