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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 893

Last Page: 894

Title: Mechanism and Kinetics of Sulfate Inhibition on Dolomitization of Calcium Carbonate: ABSTRACT

Author(s): P. A. Baker, M. Kastner, G. E. Anderson

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Calcite and aragonite transformation to dolomite has been accomplished in a few days in hydrothermal experiments using artificial seawater without sulfate and in MgCl2 + CaCl2 + NaCl solutions of seawater ionic strength, at 200° and 150°C. Calcium carbonate transformation to dolomite is retarded and frequently inhibited, depending on the concentration of SO42- in solution. The mechanism of this reaction is being investigated. Preliminary results indicate that it is a surface-controlled mechanism.

These results explain: (1) the formation of either primary or replacement dolomite in organic-rich sediments, especially in sedimentary environments or rapid sedimentation, in which microbial sulfate reduction prevails, and diffusive communication of the interstitial water with seawater is precluded; (2) the observed large variations--from negative to strongly positive

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^dgr13C values (PDB)--of dolomites in the Monterey Formation, California, and in recent sediments in the Gulf of California, controlled by the CH4/CO2 ratio; and (3) the often observed similar oxygen isotope values of coexisting calcites and dolomites in limestones which were dolomitized by seawater mixed with large volumes of fresh water.

Thus, in low or sulfate-free environments, dolomitization of CaCO3 and the formation of primary dolomite are limited by supply of alkalinity, calcite or aragonite, or dissolved Ca2+ or Mg2+. Even in the absence of sulfate, dolomitization may be retarded or inhibited by the transformation of opal-A to opal-CT, a reaction which can compete with dolomite for available Mg2+.

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