Internal weathering in quartz grains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While most research on quartz weathering has focused primarily on surface textures and morphologies, very little is known about the internal weathering of quartz. This study demonstrates that internal weathering is ubiquitous in quartz. Internal weathering is measured in terms of porosity, which represents mass loss from the quartz grain, hence silica lost through dissolution. Mass loss calculated from porosity suggests higher-than-expected rates of quartz dissolution in the terrestrial environment. Internal weathering occurs through various grain defects, and is classified into several forms (in decreasing order of frequency): fractures, enlarged grain boundaries, holes, and networks. These features may be distinguished from occasional artifact voids left by laboratory procedures. The most intensely weathered grains exhibit large fractures and extensive networks, and occasionally contain secondary weathering products within the void areas. The presence of internal weathering in quartz supports field and laboratory observations of particle comminution in sediment transport systems, and can account for at least part of the production of silt- and clay-sized quartz. Given the potentially large surface area afforded by these internal defects, internal weathering plays an important role in the generation of quartz particles and dissolved silica, and presents a new avenue of study for the generation of secondary porosity in detrital sediments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-338
Number of pages24
JournalPhysical Geography
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995

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weathering
quartz
void
defect
silica
porosity
dissolution
secondary porosity
comminution
terrestrial environment
grain boundary
sediment transport
artifact
silt
surface area
texture
clay
sediment

Keywords

  • Geomorphology
  • Quartz
  • Silica
  • Weathering

Cite this

Pope, Greg. / Internal weathering in quartz grains. In: Physical Geography. 1995 ; Vol. 16, No. 4. pp. 315-338.
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Internal weathering in quartz grains. / Pope, Greg.

In: Physical Geography, Vol. 16, No. 4, 01.01.1995, p. 315-338.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - While most research on quartz weathering has focused primarily on surface textures and morphologies, very little is known about the internal weathering of quartz. This study demonstrates that internal weathering is ubiquitous in quartz. Internal weathering is measured in terms of porosity, which represents mass loss from the quartz grain, hence silica lost through dissolution. Mass loss calculated from porosity suggests higher-than-expected rates of quartz dissolution in the terrestrial environment. Internal weathering occurs through various grain defects, and is classified into several forms (in decreasing order of frequency): fractures, enlarged grain boundaries, holes, and networks. These features may be distinguished from occasional artifact voids left by laboratory procedures. The most intensely weathered grains exhibit large fractures and extensive networks, and occasionally contain secondary weathering products within the void areas. The presence of internal weathering in quartz supports field and laboratory observations of particle comminution in sediment transport systems, and can account for at least part of the production of silt- and clay-sized quartz. Given the potentially large surface area afforded by these internal defects, internal weathering plays an important role in the generation of quartz particles and dissolved silica, and presents a new avenue of study for the generation of secondary porosity in detrital sediments.

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