Ethridge, Frank G. Department of Geosciences, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
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Diagenesis includes all of the chemical, biochemical, and physical changes that sediments undergo from the time of deposition until the stage of metamorphism is reached. The study of diagenesis is important in unraveling the evolution of sedimentary basins and in the search for, and the extraction of, energy resources. Oil, natural gas, most coal deposits (except anthracite coals), and hydrothermal ore deposits are produced by diagenetic processes. The composition of ground water and the type and nature of pore space in subsurface rocks is also largely controlled by diagenesis.
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