Schmidt (1973) has made a useful contribution to the study of burial diagenesis by publishing analyses of the interstitial waters of both shales and sandstones within a restricted geographic area, together with a welcome variety of supporting data. Previous studies have tended to concentrate either on shale or on sandstone waters leaving, in each case, room for poorly controlled speculation as to the movement of substances into or out of the facies concerned. Unfortunately, however, it appears that Schmidt’s data are not sufficiently coherent to sustain several of the conclusions he has drawn from them. Moreover, Schmidt’s treatment of his...

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