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Microfabrics in Carbonate Diagenesis: A Critical Look at Forty Years in Research

  • Robin G. C. Bathurst
Part of the Frontiers in Sedimentary Geology book series (SEDIMENTARY)

Abstract

No instrument has contributed more to our understanding of carbonate sediments and rocks than the microscope. Its use over the last 40 years, involving both light and electrons, can be said to define the modern era of microfabric studies. Since 1950 the attention of research workers has veered from one topic to another, qualifying old dogmas and embracing new ones, in a continual struggle to explain what the microscope reveals. The philosopher A. N. Whitehead (1942) expressed the urgency and the dangers of the need to understand when he wrote, “Our reasonings grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions.” Less charitably, R. Crawshay-Williams (1947) wrote of the “Comforts of Unreason,” noting our tendency to prefer those hypotheses that provide us with the contentment of easily grasped and usable explanations. The fragility of the foundations on which we have based our theories over the last few decades has become apparent as we have sought revelation in various diagenetic environments, first the meteoric, then the open-system marine, later the deep-burial and now the closed-system marine. The narrative of kaleidoscopic change points only to a similarly challenging future. Our science is alive.

Keywords

Calcite Cement Sedimentary Petrology Diagenetic Environment Sparry Calcite Burial Diagenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Robin G. C. Bathurst

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