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Experimental studies of the kinetics of reaction of calcium carbonate with magnesium-calcium chloride solutions indicate a solution-reprecipitation mechanism with a cation-ordered protodolomite as the initial reaction product. Nucleation of ordered dolomite is extremely difficult at low temperatures and is an important factor in the reaction. The kinetics of the reaction are strongly dependent on temperature and on the reactant (calcite or aragonite). Experimental dolomitization of aragonite at 100°C and atmospheric pressure has allowed the reaction to be studied under conditions approaching those of natural sedimentary environments. These studies indicate that other important kinetic factors include the ionic strength (salinity) and Mg++/Ca++ ratio in the dolomitizing fluids and the presence of strongly hydrated ions. Certain amino acids and soluble proteins severely inhibit the reaction, but may be removed by oxidation. The results of these experiments may aid in the interpretation of the processes involved in sedimentary dolomitization.

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