The Widespread Distribution of a Novel Silica Polymorph in Microcrystalline Quartz Varieties

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Science  24 Jan 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5043, pp. 441-443
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5043.441


An x-ray examination of more than 150 specimens of fine-grained quartz varieties from around the world has revealed that more than 10% and as much as 80% of the silica in many samples is actually moganite, a little-known silica polymorph. Rietveld refinements of 50 powder x-ray diffraction patterns produced by fibrous quartz (agate, chalcedony) and nonfibrous quartz (chert, flint) indicate that the concentrations of moganite within each subgroup are widely distributed. The large amount of moganite (>30%) found in cherts from arid, alkaline environments may resurrect length-slow silica as an indicator of evaporitic regimes, and the absence of moganite in weathered and hydrothermally altered silica samples may be a useful measure of fluid-rock interaction.

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