Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Stylolite

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_2368

A stylolite is a jagged surface that forms in sedimentary rocks by pressure solution. Stylolites are common in limestone and quartzite. In cross-section, they look like zigzag curves, and in plan view, they form undulating surfaces. Three-dimensionally, they are composed of concave and convex columns of varying sizes, which are called suture columns. Stylolites can vary in size significantly; the dimensions from the concave to convex columns can be up to dozens of centimetres or larger but can be less than 1 mm. Stylolites can serve as pathways for oil and gas migration, and they play an active role in their transportation and accumulation.

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