In estuarine sands, microorganisms cause biotite grains to break apart faster than hornblende grains. This apparently happens because these minerals respond differently to penetration by microorganisms seeking the protected places in which they prefer to dwell. As a result of this, biotite has more contact with the chemically active interstitial water. Furthermore, the number of microorganisms inhabiting biotite grains greatly exceeds that of hornblende grains and this also accelerates the chemical disintegration of the biotite.

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