November 6, 2011, 8:06 pm

Authigenic minerals are deposits generated where found or observed. In oceanography, authigenic describes one of three major components of deep sea sediments, the other two being detrital and biogenic.

This article is written at a definitional level only. Authors wishing to expand this entry are inivited to expand the present treatment, which additions will be peer reviewed prior to publication of any expansion.

Authigenic minerals are those formed by spontaneous crystallization within the sediment or water column, and reduce the porosity of the total sediment volume. The most important of authogenic sediments are the iron-manganese oxide material formed by reduction of these metals deep in the sediment column. The resultant material migrates upwards and is deposited in the oxygenated upper layers of sediment. It can also be produced as a by-product of hydrothermal activity near ridge crests.

Further Reading:

  • Physical Oceanography Index
  • W. S. Broecker and T.-H. Peng. Tracers in the Sea. Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Palisades, N.Y., 1982.


(2011). Authigenic. Retrieved from


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