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Conventional hydrologically-driven models of dolomite formation, though popular, often lack empirical support, and encounter fundamental chemical problems related to kinetic impediments in saline solutions: these include the high hydration energy of the magnesium ion, the extremely low activity of the carbonate ion, and the presence of even very low concentrations of sulfate. Although an organogenic dolomite model exists, it has been mainly limited in application to modern, organic-rich, deep marine sediments. However, growing evidence from modern and ancient sediments points to a greatly enhanced and fundamental role for benthic microbial communities in dolomite formation, linked to anoxic organic diagenesis...

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