I wonder what the average ratio between aragonite and calcite is during the precipitation of biogenic calcium carbonate in seawater. I know some species are aragonite-favouring and some perfer using calcite. I also know that aragonite is about 50% more soluble than calcite, and therefore less common.

If any of you would know a (coarse) average between these two (with references if possible)?


After some more research, the conclusion is that aragonite is somewhere between 10 and 50% of total CaCO3 production:

Aragonite, calcite-Mg and calcite are the 3 main species of marine CaCO3. Aragonite is unlikely to be a major component of the total CaCO3 flux (Berelson, 2007), though the exact contribution is uncertain and falls in the range of 10-50% of global CaCO3 production (Gangstø, 2008). Minimum values of 12% (Berner and Honjo, 1981) and 13% (Fabry and Deuser, 1992) have been reported based on sediment traps. Calcite-Mg contributes ~8% (Fabry and Deuser, 1992) to 24% (Morse, 2006) to CaCO3 production. The sediment trap-based contribution of aragonite of ~12% is thought to be lower than the actual contribution of aragonite to CaCO3 production because aragonite is about 1.5 times more soluble than calcite and therefore more depleted than calcite in the sediment trap records.

An educated guess of me would therefore be ~20% aragonite, ~10% calcite-Mg and ~70% calcite globally on average.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.