Conventional paragenesis analysis commonly fails to describe the subtleties of regional variation found in carbonate cement sequences. Application of the concept of sequence stratigraphy to diagenetic studies allows grouping of the products of depositional (precipitation or crystallization) events into sequences. The boundaries to these sequences are surfaces reflecting erosion (dissolution), non-deposition (renucleation), compaction or imposed fracture events. The pattern of chemical changes within a diagenetic sequence provides a fingerprint which allows that sequence to be recognized among others. Diagenetic sequences may be grouped into temporal series to provide an overall view of the diagenesis of the unit which takes account of local unconformities. The belief that lateral stratigraphical equivalence can serve as a proxy for diagenetic time equivalence is evidently mistaken; diagenetic boundaries may cross stratigraphic boundaries. The application of sequence stratigraphy concepts provides a valuable tool for interpreting regional diagenesis in carbonates and potentially offers insight into the pathways of hydrocarbon or ore fluid migration.

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