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Lithification (from the Ancient Greek word lithos meaning 'rock' and the Latin-derived suffix -ific) is the process in which sediments compact under pressure, expel connate fluids, and gradually become solid rock. Essentially, lithification is a process of porosity destruction through compaction and cementation. Lithification includes all the processes which convert unconsolidated sediments into sedimentary rocks. Petrifaction, though often used as a synonym, is more specifically used to describe the replacement of organic material by silica in the formation of fossils.[1]

See also[edit]

  • Concretion – Compact mass formed by precipitation of mineral cement between particles
  • Diagenesis – Physico-chemical changes in sediments occurring after their deposition
  • Lithology – Description of its physical characteristics of a rock unit
  • Parent rock – Original rock substratum
  • Petrifaction – Process of fossilisation
  • Weathering – Deterioration of rocks and minerals through exposure to the elements


  1. ^ Monroe, J.S.; Wicander, R.; Hazlett, R.W. (2006). Physical Geology: Exploring the Earth (6th ed.). Belmont: Thomson. pp. 203–204. ISBN 9780495011484.