Abstract

The youngest terrace on the island (82,000 B.P.) is composed of generally unstable mineralogy; terraces older than 500,000 years of stable, and terraces of intermediate age of both. Different portions of Barbados have decidedly different climates. Thus reef tracts of equivalent age can be studied in a high-rainfall, low-evaporation terrain and in a low-rainfall, high-evaporation terrain. Mineralogical stabilization proceeds more slowly in the drier climates. A model is proposed for the stabilization process at or near the outcropping surface of an aragonite-calcite sediment. The kinetics of calcite nucleation and of crystal growth, and the availability and transport of water can each be the 'rate step' in geologically realistic situations. The model is extended to include mineralogical stabilization in subsurface meteoric water.

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