Definitions for diagenesisˌdaɪ əˈdʒɛn ə sɪs
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All the chemical, physical, and biological changes sediment goes through during and after lithification, not including weathering or other surface changes.
Diagenesis is changes to sediment or sedimentary rocks during and after rock formation, at temperatures and pressures less than that required for the formation of metamorphic rocks or melting. It does not include changes from weathering. It is any chemical, physical, or biological change undergone by a sediment after its initial deposition and during and after its lithification, exclusive of surface alteration and metamorphism. These changes happen at relatively low temperatures and pressures and result in changes to the rock's original mineralogy and texture. There is no sharp boundary between diagenesis and metamorphism, but the latter occurs at higher temperature and pressure than the former. After deposition, sediments are compacted as they are buried beneath successive layers of sediment and cemented by minerals that precipitate from solution. Grains of sediment, rock fragments and fossils can be replaced by other minerals during diagenesis. Porosity usually decreases during diagenesis, except in rare cases such as dissolution of minerals and dolomitization. The study of diagenesis in rocks is used to understand the tectonic history they have undergone; the nature and type of fluids that have circulated through them. From a commercial standpoint, such studies aid in assessing the likelihood of finding various economically viable mineral and hydrocarbon deposits.
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