Etch Patterns on Calcareous Sediment Grains: Petrographic Evidence of Marine Dissolution of Carbonate Minerals

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Science  04 Jul 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4196, pp. 47-48
DOI: 10.1126/science.189.4196.47


Scanning electron microscopy reveals that carbonate grains in sublittoral sediments in the North Sea have surfaces with a microscopic etch relief. In structurally complex skeletal grains, the relief grades into marginal corrosion zones. The etch patterns are caused by dissolution of calcium carbonate, taking place at the shallow sea floor. Carbonate phases affected are calcite, aragonite, and a spectrum of magnesian calcites.