Abstract

The diagenetic sequence of silica is examined in terms of several thermodynamic and kinetic concepts. The relationship between solubility and surface area or particle size is sufficient to explain simple opal-A --> opal-CT --> quartz transformations, suggesting that the role of temperature and other physical parameters may not be as critical as previously thought. Complexation and adsorption in an impure system, when added to the model, allow for possibilities of opal-A transformation directly to quartz, of clay and zeolite formation from an opaline silica source, and of variations in silica transformation rates due to presence of impurities in the system.

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