One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An irregular surface or seam within a limestone or other sedimentary rock, characterized by irregular interlocking pegs and sockets around 1 cm in depth and a concentration of insoluble minerals.
- ‘This produces sutured interpenetrative contacts between grains, and these may form thin extensive sheets of concentrations of insoluble material called stylolite seams.’
- 1.1 A grooved peg forming part of a stylolite.
- ‘It cuts indiscriminately through the rock fabric, across grains, cement, and matrix; it may truncate fossils, ooliths, veins, and other stylolites.’
- ‘Folds, cleavages, tension gashes and stylolites were also taken into account.’
- ‘Owing to compactional processes, the more vertical burrow parts may be stacked into each other and commonly are affected by stylolites.’
- ‘Owing to diagenetic effects, the vertical burrow parts commonly are compacted and may bear stylolites, whereas the inner parts of the tunnels especially are affected by sponge-like growth of celestine crystals.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek stulos ‘column’ + -lite.
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