Our understanding of carbonate formation in sedimentary rocks, particularly dolomite and the process(es) of dolomitization, requires a knowledge of the complex relationships among sedimentologic, biologic, and dingenetic facies. In this paper the potential of hydrated silica gels, as a growth medium for carbonates, is examined with a view to defining chemical and kinetic constraints on carbonate precipitation. One of the most attractive attributes of this method is the ability to control crystal precipitation, especially under conditions of high ionic concentration and in the case of Mg-Ca carbonates, high Mg/Ca ratios. In experiments conducted so far, calcite crystals with up to 16 mole percent MgCO 3 have been grown.

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