Shape evolution of ooids: A geometric model

András A. Sipos, G. Domokos, Douglas J. Jerolmack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Striking shapes in nature have been documented to result from chemical precipitation - such as terraced hot springs and stromatolites - which often proceeds via surface-normal growth. Another studied class of objects is those whose shape evolves by physical abrasion -The primary example being river and beach pebbles - which results in shape-dependent surface erosion. While shapes may evolve in a self-similar manner, in neither growth nor erosion can a surface remain invariant. Here we investigate a rare and beautiful geophysical problem that combines both of these processes; the shape evolution of carbonate particles known as ooids. We hypothesize that mineral precipitation, and erosion due to wave-current transport, compete to give rise to novel and invariant geometric forms. We show that a planar (2D) mathematical model built on this premise predicts time-invariant (equilibrium) shapes that result from a balance between precipitation and abrasion. These model results produce nontrivial shapes that are consistent with mature ooids found in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1758
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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