Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Rocks are traditionally viewed as crystallite aggregates; in general the treatment of the composition and mechanical properties never includes solid noncrystalline components. Such glass-like materials are difficult to detect in small quantities by standard techniques (e.g., thin-section polarimetry, x-ray diffraction) but if they exist at critical locations (i.e. grain contacts) they could affect the behavior of rocks considerably. Neutron scattering measurements on a solid sample of Fontainebleau sandstone have shown clear evidence for the presence of an unexpected glass-like component. Atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis shows significant local structural deviations from pure quartz. These deviations appear as an excess of 5-10% of nearest neighbor (NN) Si-O and O-O bonds, which is consistent with a 5-10% volume fraction of vitreous silica. These measurements may provide significant information about the still-unexplained causes for the peculiar mechanics and dynamics of sedimentary rocks.

Original publication

DOI

10.1029/2004GL021717

Type

Journal article

Journal

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS

Volume

31