Observations on the Solubility of Skeletal Carbonates in Aqueous Solutions

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Science  06 Jul 1962:
Vol. 137, Issue 3523, pp. 33-34
DOI: 10.1126/science.137.3523.33


Carbonate skeletal materials of marine organisms exhibit a wide range of solubilities in aqueous solutions. In most cases, the dissolution of the carbonate mineral is irreversible and therefore the material can have no true equilibrium solubility. Relative solubilities have been measured in distilled water and in sea water. The least soluble mineral appears to be calcite with low magnesium content; the most soluble is calcite containing 20 to 30 percent MgCO3 in solid solution. Aragonite has an intermediate solubility.