Diagenesis is the sum total of processes that occur following deposition of a sediment up to but excluding metamorphism. It includes compaction, mineral precipitation, mineral dissolution, and mineral transformation. Many of the processes contribute to lithification , the conversion of sediment into rock.
The word “diagenesis” (Greek dia meaning “passing through” and Latin genesis, “development or generation”) was first used in geology in 1868 by the German geologist Wilhelm von Gümbel. The term was refined by Johannes Walther in his work “Introduction to Geology as a Historical Science” (Einleitung in die Geologie als historische Wissenschaft, 1893–1894) and by William T. Twenhofel in Principles of Sedimentation (1939) to its current definition.
Diagenesis is key to understanding the evolution of rock composition and texture with depth, time, and temperature and to deciphering the mechanisms by which elements are cycled between the atmosphere, ocean, and crust....
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