A model for the origin of chert in limestone

L. Paul Knauth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


It is proposed that many nodular cherts in limestone have formed in the ground water of mixed meteoric-marine coastal systems where dissolution of biogenic opal and mixing of marine and fresh waters can produce waters highly supersaturated with respect to quartz and undersaturated with respect to calcite and aragonite. Aspects of cherts readily explained by this model include the observed isotopic ratios in cherts, typical field relationships, the relative resistance of dolomite to silicification, the source-of-silica problem, the preservation of siliceous fossils in cherts, and aspects of chert morphology and mineralogy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-277
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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