The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 46 Number 1: 15-17 - April 1984

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Clastic and Solutional Boundaries as Nucleation SUrfaces for Aragonite in Speleothems
Kevin D. Craig, Paul D. Horton, and Max W. Reams


A petrographic study was made of speleothems containing alternating bands of aragonite and calcite. Aragonite layers almost always grow from corrosion surfaces or clastic layers. Experimental precipatates were prepared by release of carbon dioxide from calcium bicarbonate solutions. Calcite was the precipitate, except in the presence of clay size particles, when vaterite was formed. We suggest that clastic layers and corrosion surfaces are common sites for nucleation of the metastable polymorph of calcium carbonate, aragonite, in speleothems.

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