A mineralogical method to determine cyclicity in the taphonomic and diagenetic history of fossilized bones



The study of authigenic minerals within the voids of a fossilized bone can reveal its diagenetic history. When the order of precipitation of minerals is plotted on an Eh/pH diagram any cyclicity in the diagenetic history is revealed. If one cycle is displayed then it can be assumed that the bone has been found in its original bed of deposition; if two cycles or more are revealed then reworking or environmental change may have taken place. This is demonstrated in a case study of two bones from the Wealden Group (Lower Cretaceous) from the Isle of Wight, UK.