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Origin of Surface Pits on Quartz as Revealed by Scanning Electron Microscopy
Optically clear quartz crystals in the range of 20 µm-63 µm in diameter were etched in the laboratory and the surfaces were studied under a Scanning Electron Microscope. The photographs show a wide range of surface features. Naturally occurring quartz grains from St. Peter Sandstone were also studied for comparison. In addition to certain new surfaces, features from the same samples show a wide variation and hence cannot be used as indicators of sedimentary environments. Instead, X-ray mapping suggests that Mn distribution in the surface pits relative to outer surface can be used to identify the origin of pits either as mechanical or as chemical.
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