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Oolite is a rock composed of ooids. These are balls which are made up of successive layers of lime. They are a millimeter to a few centimeters in size. In a calcareous shallow marine environment ooids can occur in areas with wave action. Because of the wave action the granules move, and lime can precipitate on all sides of the granule from the chalk saturated sea water.
The ooids form around a nucleus like a grain of sand or small shell fragment. The larger grains accumulate in deeper water so thick packages of oolite can occur. Oolite usually develops in warm sea water saturated with lime. Oolite is therefore a useful tool to reconstruct the depositional environment.
Sea urchin in oolithic limestone. Where the scale of the sea urchin is missing you can see the ooids clearly.
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