Quartz is a major porosity-destroying cement in many sandstones. Despite its simple chemistry and crystallography, it is the source of many conflicts and disagreements within the petrographic community about practically every aspect of its genesis. The ultimate goal of research into quartz cement is the ability to make robust predictions of the amount and distribution of quartz cement in the full spectrum of sedimentary-basin settings for the major lithofacies, and for the wide variety of burial, pressure and thermal histories. It was the primary objective of this book to focus attention on this debate, thus allowing future research to tackle the most critical elements.
The idea for this book was conceived originally at an international workshop on quartz cement held at the Queen’s University of Belfast in the UK and convened by Richard Worden in May 1996. There were a total of 26 presentations at the workshop representing 12 countriesfrom four continents. The IAS Special Publication on Carbonate Cementation in Sandstones (Number 26), edited by Sadoon Morad, was at an advanced stage of preparation at that time and an equivalent book on one of the other main diagenetic minerals in sandstones seemed to be a natural corollary. Many papers presented at the workshop are included in this volume. Other papers were specifically invited and solicited to add balance to the content of the volume.

The readership of the book will include: (i) sedimentologists and petrographers who are dealing with the occurrence and importance of quartz cement in sandstones; and (ii) geochemists attempting to unravel the factors controlling quartz cementation, taking into consideration an assessment of the rates and mechanisms of a wide variety of geochemical processes. The book will also be of immediate relevance to the wider petroleum geoscience community since quartz cement typically reduces the storage capacity for petroleum in deeply buried sandstone reservoirs and the rate at which petroleum can be produced.

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