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Publication Detail
Arrested versus active silica diagenesis reaction boundaries—A review of seismic diagnostic criteria
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Varkouhi S, Cartwright JA, Tosca NJ, Papineau D
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Basin Research
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
This paper evaluates previously proposed diagnostic criteria that can be used to determine whether or not there is active migration of the opal-A to opal-CT transition zone (TZA/CT). The criteria are based on the interpretation of 2D and 3D seismic surveys and are therefore geometrical. They involve an assessment of the relationship of the TZA/CT with polygonal fault systems, differential compaction structures and tectonic folds. The most robust evidence for an inactive ‘reaction front’ between opal-A and opal-CT bearing sediments is the discordance of the TZA/CT relative to present-day isotherms. Any of these may be persuasive as diagnostic criteria for the upward arrest of the diagenetic transformation at a regional scale, but actual truncation of the TZA/CT at the modern seabed is definitive for arrested diagenesis. This study argues that diagenetic assessment based solely on a single criterion independently is not reliable as an indicator for the current state of a silica transition. As a conclusion, the analysed seismic/structural criteria should be synthesised to provide a more credible interpretation for silica diagenesis. The use of modern 2D and 3D seismic data for the reconstruction of the diagenetic history of opaline silica bearing sediments offers a new approach to the study of silica diagenesis at a regional scale.
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