Geochemistry, SiO2 minerals and isotopes at DSDP Hole 72-516F

Cherts recovered during DSDP Leg 72 from Rio Grande Rise sediments (Site 516) consist of both cristobalite and quartz, and contain ghosts of foraminifers and (more rare) radiolarians. Porcelanite made of disordered cristobalite is found in most old enclosing sediments. Local dissolution of siliceous microfossils during diagenesis is the most likely source of the silica required for the chert formation. As sediment age increases, the proportion of biogenic silica decreases and authigenic silica increases.



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