Evidence from Holocene and fossil miliolacean foraminifera indicates that the loss of magnesium from these skeletal magnesian calcites can take place without electron–optically visible alteration in the crystal morphology. A cation exchange reaction is suggested as a possible explanation for this observation. Subsequent stages of textural change (recrystallization) suggest that the loss of magnesium does not necessarily stabilize the resultant calcite from further diagenetic alteration.

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