Saturday, April 1, 2017

Highlights: The Future of Carbonate Sedimentology(?)

Although recently some have lamented the “demise” of carbonate geology, practictioners in the field are not ones to let it die. Instead of re-hashing what he considers to be more mundane aspects of carbonate depositional systems, or argumentative aspects of cyclostratigraphy, Bruce Wilkinson starts from the premise that “so much of carbonate sedimentology is crap” to develop the concepts and applications of the future of carbonate geology—peloids and pelotherapy. The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) database of the MEDLINE/PubMed defines pelotherapy as “The therapeutic use of mud in packs or baths taking advantage of the absorptive qualities of the mud. It has been used for rheumatism and skin problems.” Building on efforts of clay mineralogists, Wilkinson argues that pelotherapy can take three approaches: 1) Geophagy, which utilizes the healing power of the calcium carbonate-organic mix, but which can become addictive; 2) Psammotherapy (sand baths) useful for muscular-skeletal diseases; and 3) Cosmetics, providing for a strong skrabiruyuschy effect. The manuscript notes a niche (but growing) peloid travel destination, clear relevance for modeling, and a strong and growing market – after all, who doesn’t love a good peloidal mud bath?

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