The primordial earth surface exposed minerals comprised mainly of carbonates, silicates and smaller amounts of phosphates. Weathering eventually led to the dissolution of the surface rock and the leaching of their components into the rivers, lakes and oceans. There, complex chemistry depending upon the temperature, pH, pressure, and atmospheric carbon dioxide content led to the reprecipitation of the dissolved minerals into new forms as part of the sedimentary rock. The minerals themselves could be transformed by passive diagenesis to further structures. When primitive organisms emerged, they added a very significant component to the processing of the dissolved mineral constituents in...

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