Chalcedonic quartz and occurrence of quartzine (length-slow chalcedony) in pelagic sediments


  • J. B. KEENE

    1. Geological Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California 92093, U.S.A.
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      Department of Geology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.


ABSTRACT Chalcedony is the most abundant form of quartz in silicified pelagic sediments from the North Pacific. Varieties of chalcedonic quartz present in chert of deep-sea origin include chalcedony (length-fast and zebraic), quartzine (length-slow), and lutecite.

These occurrences of quartzine in known pelagic sediments emphasize the dangers of using quartzine as an indicator of former evaporitic environments. Quartzine is a diagenetic mineral and does indicate pore fluids rich in sulphate and magnesium. In pelagic sediments, it is always associated with authigenic barite and in many cases with authigenic dolomite. Quartzine should not be used, by itself, as an indicator of any particular environment of deposition.