The self-organization theory of stylolite development is one of the most prominent explanations of pressure-dissolution phenomena. Its proponents cite uniform spacing of stylolites as evidence of self-organization, and its original authors concluded that "a natural consequence of the theory . . . is the development of sets of stylolites with roughly regular spacing". Spacing of stylolites is the only observable physical criterion by which self-organized pressure dissolution can be differentiated from conventional pressure dissolution in ancient limestones. Quantitative analysis of spacing of stylolites in limestones shows, however, that spacing of stylolites is generally indistinguishable from random arrangement. Spacing of stylolites thus provides no support for the theory of self-organization of pressure dissolution.

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