Decay of skeletal organic matrices and early diagenesis in coral skeletons

Christine Perrin, David C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Due to its particular mode of growth, the coral skeleton provides a natural model for evaluating the successive stages of diagenesis in a still-living organism. The spatial distribution of skeletal organic matrices and their early diagenesis have been investigated in a scleractinian skeleton with in situ micron-scale analyses by Raman Microspectroscopy. Results indicate that the decay of the organic matrices occurs within a few years. We suggest that the gradual deterioration of the skeletal organic matrices is a key-mechanism driving earliest diagenesis in coral skeletons and represents the starting-point of the process of fossilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalComptes Rendus - Palevol
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aragonite
  • Biominerals
  • Diagenesis
  • Organic matrix
  • Raman Microspectroscopy
  • Scleractinian corals


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