Analyses of particle size distributions indicate that clay minerals and other diagenetic and metamorphic minerals commonly undergo recrystallization by Ostwald ripening. The shapes of their particle size distributions can yield the rate law for this process. One consequence of Ostwald ripening is that a record of the recrystallization process is preserved in the various particle sizes. Therefore, one can determine the detailed geologic history of clays and other recrystallized minerals by separating, from a single sample, the various particle sizes for independent chemical, structural, and isotopic analyses.
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Ostwald ripening of clays and metamorphic minerals