Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Diagenesis

  • David J. BurdigeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_90

Definition

Diagenesis is the sum of all chemical, physical, and biological changes that occur to sedimentary materials after deposition but before lithification (conversion to sedimentary rocks). Diagenesis occurs at pressures and temperatures lower than those required for the formation of metamorphic rocks and can be broken down into early and late diagenesis, although some workers restrict the term solely to early diagenesis.

Characteristics

Early diagenesis occurs in the upper portions of sediments (upper ~1 m to several 100 m) where temperatures are less than ~50 °C. Sediment pore spaces are water-saturated, although in some cases gas (methane) bubbles may occur. During diagenesis, compaction with burial decreases sediment porosity from ~50% to 90–95% in surface sediments to 20% (or less) within 1–2 km of burial (Burdige 2006).

The lithogenic and biogenic materials initially deposited in sediments are involved in a number of early diagenetic reactions. In the latter case, this...

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References

  1. Aller RC (2014) Sedimentary diagenesis, depositional environments, and benthic fluxes. In: Holland HD, Turekian KK (eds) Treatise on geochemistry, vol 8, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 293–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burdige DJ (2006) Geochemistry of marine sediments. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  3. Burdige DJ (2007) The preservation of organic matter in marine sediments: controls, mechanisms and an imbalance in sediment organic carbon budgets? Chem Rev 107:467–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Holland HD, Turekian KK (eds) (2014) Treatise on geochemistry, 2nd edn, vol 9, Sediments, diagenesis and sedimentary rocks (several chapters). Elsevier, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Killops S, Killops V (2005) Introduction to organic geochemistry, 2nd edn. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric SciencesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA