PerspectiveMineral Chemistry

How minerals dissolve

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Science  18 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6254, pp. 1288
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0852

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During mineral growth and dissolution, material (in the form of atoms, molecules, complexes, or clusters) is transported through water to or from the mineral surface. Even in a solution that is at equilibrium with respect to a given mineral, there is transport to and from the surface. Although this equilibrium transport is in balance over large scales, the rates of this transport can vary locally depending on the energy landscape of the mineral surface (1). On page 1330 of this issue, Laanait et al. (2) present an elegant way of measuring and visualizing how dissolution rates vary across the calcite surface with time and with dissolution mechanism.