Siliciclastic Sandstone Diagenesis: Are Existing Models Correct?

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Deposits".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 24 May 2024 | Viewed by 191

Special Issue Editors

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Molenaar GeoConsulting, Richard Wagnerlaan 11, 2253 CA Voorschoten, The Netherlands
Interests: diagenesis; sedimentology; sediment petrography; petroleum geology; geology

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geology, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS B3H 3C3, Canada
Interests: igneous petrology and geochemistry; clastic sedimentary diagenesis and provenance; rock-forming minerals; detrital minerals and sediment provenance; diagenetic minerals in sandstones
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Geology is an exact science that is dependent on past and present observations. These observations, however, provide subjective results and interpretations that are biased by the observer. This has changed in recent decades because of the increasing number of analytical techniques and digital measuring methods for laboratory and field applications. Since the beginning of this century, overwhelming amounts of quantitative and semi-quantitative data have become available for geological interpretation. In particular, for sedimentary petrography and diagenetic studies of sandstone shales, this should have consequences. In reality, many of the models dating from the 1950s or 1960s are still followed. Thus, it seems that geological science is quite conservative and lethargic. Models and paradigms, and even the routines for deriving models, have remained largely the same.

Science should not only be innovative and embrace new types of data for better interpretations but must also include the scrutiny of existing models. The latter should be questioned, tested and, if necessary, improved or replaced by models that better explain the observations and analytical data. The existing diagenetic models are still not capable of predicting the behavior of sediments and sedimentary rocks and their properties for hydrocarbon and geothermal applications, as well as for heat, CO2, and H2 storage. Therefore, it is time for retrospection. The wealth of new analytical data, not only in terms of quantity but also increased quality, allows retrospection and the questioning and testing of the existing models.

The new models, analytical techniques, and their results need to be critically approached. All too often, new techniques are applied on a large scale, but the proper deliberation of their use is often neglected. Technically, the methods will be correct, but what does the resulting data actually mean? During burial, the physical and chemical conditions are constantly changing, resulting in mechanical and chemical reactions between the sediment and sedimentary rock. The latter changes are caused by the interaction between susceptible sedimentary and diagenetic components with the interstitial fluids. These changes make interpretations of mineralogical assemblages and the chemical and isotopic compositions of mineral components difficult, if not impossible. Even if they are correct, does this lead to improvement in the predictive power of diagenetic models?

Until now, sandstone diagenesis has been case-specific, with an explanatory model, paragenesis, and a set of underlying factors for each case. If this is correct, any predictive power of the models, including the lateral and vertical extrapolation of measured properties within single sediment bodies and basin fills, will remain elusive. On the other hand, maybe the current approach is, at least partly, wrong.

Amongst the topics to deal with are the following:

  • Diagenetic paragenesis or timing of diagenetic processes (e.g., the dissolution of detrital components or methods).
  • Changes in mineral assemblages (e.g., the pelletization or chlorination of smectites or kaolinite).
  • Minerals assemblages, diagenetic effects, and provenance.
  • Microquartz
  • Geochemical data (SEM-EDS, Microprobe, ICP-MS, etc.).
  • Stable isotope data.
  • Fluid inclusion data.

Dr. Nicolaas Molenaar
Prof. Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sandstone diagenesis
  • controversies
  • scrutiny of models
  • alternatives

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop