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Numerous field and laboratory studies over the past two decades claim that microbes catalyze nucleation and growth of dolomite at temperatures common in low-temperature geologic environments (25–60° C). However, a critical reexamination of the X-ray diffraction (XRD) data presented by these studies indicates that the laboratory products are not dolomite but rather a mixture of minerals, including very high-magnesium calcite (VHMC). Because VHMC can be “compositionally” indistinguishable from dolomite (i.e., 50 mol% MgCO3), the positions of the principal (104) XRD reflection for VHMC and dolomite can be identical. Nevertheless, published XRD patterns of products derived from microbial...

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