1981 Edition

Authigenic minerals

  • Rhodes W. Fairbridge
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-30720-6_13

Authigenesis is any process involving growth in situ, i.e., on the spot. Its antonym is “allogenic”. Introduced by Kalkowsky (1880), the term describes the origin of any mineral that is formed subsequent to the origin of its matrix or surroundings but is not a product of transformation or recrystallization; it is customarily reserved for low-temperature sedimentary situations. Tester and Atwater (1934) have pointed out that the term should be reserved for discrete crystallographic units of “exotic” nature rather than be used for the rock-forming minerals. The term is not normally used for over-growths and metasomatic replacement; thus, massive dolomitization is excluded but discrete dolomite crystals formed, for example, during the early burial phase are clearly authigenic. Many minerals formerly considered exclusive “high-temperature” igneous or hydrothermal indicators (e.g., feldspars, and the metal sulfides such as galena and chalcopyrite) are now frequently recognized as...

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© Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company 1981

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  • Rhodes W. Fairbridge

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