This study illustrates the surface texture of quartz particles that have been etched, corroded, embayed, and replaced by calcium carbonate during precipitation of carbonate cement in reefs. Oriented V-shaped and prismatic etch patterns or irregular depressions lacking orientation develop; as etching becomes more intense depressions coalesce to form spongy surfaces. Advanced etching, as carbonate cement is precipitated, results in lowering of the entire etched surface. Such strong chemical etching and dissolution of quartz particles have not been previously recorded with the scanning-electron microscope from sediments deposited in a marine environment.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.