Dolomite Problem

Jo Bugman

Padawan Learner
Whenever I come across dolostone in lectures, the professors always bring up the dolomite problem. Essentially, no one knows for sure about where dolostone comes from or how it forms. Dolostone is thought to be an alteration of limestone from mixing with magnesium rich water. However, sea water does not have nearly enough magnesium in it to alter the limestone and no one knows when or what conditions the diagenesis occurs.

Dolostone, like limestone, is a carbonate which are thought to form from the deposition of marine environments. Dolostone, like limestone, makes up mountain ranges due to its resistance to weathering. We have dolostone miles thick and no one knows where it came from. I found a website that might explain the problem better:
(The Dolomite Problem – Electric Universe Geology)
These assumptions of geologists are also questioned within the standard theory. The dolomite problem is well recognized as such. Dolomite has been found in soil, coal, rivers, lakes, pearls and even kidney stones of Dalmatian dogs. A diagenetic dolomitization in these examples is not possible. Also chemical experiments show [Wright], that the supposed geological formation mechanism of limestone under current static seawater conditions (salinity, temperature) does not work. The carbonate precipitation is prevented by several simple kinetic limitations in salt water. In particular, it is just the required magnesium in the form of sulfates which hinders the typical carbonate precipitation. To demonstrate dolomite growth in reactors under appropriate pressure, temperatures between 100° and 200°C [Arvidson/Mackenzie] had to be applied, as well as larger amounts of CO2 dissolved in water. On the other hand, other chemists were apparently able to synthesize dolomite at normal temperature [Liebermann, Deelman] in a dynamic, complex, multi-stepped process. The secret here seems to be a higher salt content, an ideal sequence of temperature changes and urine (for pH adjustment), and again CO2 in large quantities. The described process seems to rule out a late diagenetic dolomitization. In addition: The origin of carbonate sediments (limestone), from which in turn the dolomite is supposed to have originated, is also not free of contradictions. Regardless of whether the calcite is precipitated directly from seawater or incurred by way of marine organisms – the source is always the seawater. A simple calculation [Kervran, 31] shows that the amount of calcium carbonate, which may arise in the sum of the calcite dissolved in seawater, is by far not sufficient to either explain the existing limestone layers nor diagenetic dolomite created out of it. There is not just a particular dolomite problem, there is even a full-blown carbonate problem.

Mainly in sulfate-rich, oxygen-free environments today, dolomite growth is observed to a lesser extent [Preiser]. This is attributed to bacteria, which get their oxygen from the sulfates, and thereby excrete the components of dolomite. It appears questionable whether the existing massive dolomite deposits may have originated in this way. C.L. Kervran’s approach of biological transmutation [Kervran] of calcite and dolomite by bacteria at least provides a starting point, but it is highly controversial within research, or even completely rejected.

Undeniably, main aspects of the dolomite problem (its uneven development over time and the unlikelihood of its diagenetic origin) are still awaiting a solution. Why does the dolomite occur in such large quantities? How is it made? Why was it created only temporarily?

Michael Steinbacher [2011] suggests another possible answer to this (at least for the deposits in the U.S.). NASA discovered that up to 7% of the dust of some comets consisted of Mg-carbonates (dolomite), which may still be set too low because the detectors were not suitable for very fine particles [Flynn]. It is entirely possible that the dolomite in the world could be in part of extraterrestrial origin: It may have “rained down” during one or more close encounters with a great comet. Is direct sedimentation of dolomite back on the playing field? In such an encounter, in addition to the extreme atmospheric wind effects, not only dolomite dust but also other cometary material in large quantities would penetrate the atmosphere. Strong winds and abundant particles in the atmosphere – these are the ingredients for the formation of large dunes.
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The Dolomites mountain range in the Alps.

Is it possible that dolostone was a result of a cometary encounter that lead to a massive increase in magnesium in our atmosphere? And the digestion of Mg from dying marine organisms lead to the alteration of our 'normal' limestone? This is an interesting one and I would love to hear what others think.
(I would like to say I searched the forum and I could not find if there was a thread already on this subject. My searching skills are the not the best however and I apologize if there is one.)
 

Alejo

Ambassador
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FOTCM Member
Whenever I come across dolostone in lectures, the professors always bring up the dolomite problem. Essentially, no one knows for sure about where dolostone comes from or how it forms. Dolostone is thought to be an alteration of limestone from mixing with magnesium rich water. However, sea water does not have nearly enough magnesium in it to alter the limestone and no one knows when or what conditions the diagenesis occurs.

Dolostone, like limestone, is a carbonate which are thought to form from the deposition of marine environments. Dolostone, like limestone, makes up mountain ranges due to its resistance to weathering. We have dolostone miles thick and no one knows where it came from. I found a website that might explain the problem better:
(The Dolomite Problem – Electric Universe Geology)

View attachment 44553
The Dolomites mountain range in the Alps.

Is it possible that dolostone was a result of a cometary encounter that lead to a massive increase in magnesium in our atmosphere? And the digestion of Mg from dying marine organisms lead to the alteration of our 'normal' limestone? This is an interesting one and I would love to hear what others think.
(I would like to say I searched the forum and I could not find if there was a thread already on this subject. My searching skills are the not the best however and I apologize if there is one.)

Thanks for sharing, this is very interesting actually, and I've not much to add as I haven't studied it much. But it did remind me of this series of articles, have you read these? I'd dare to say you might find them very interesting:

Did Earth 'Steal' Martian Water? -- Sott.net

 

Jo Bugman

Padawan Learner
Thanks for sharing, this is very interesting actually, and I've not much to add as I haven't studied it much. But it did remind me of this series of articles, have you read these? I'd dare to say you might find them very interesting:

Did Earth 'Steal' Martian Water? -- Sott.net

I should definitely reread this, thank you.
 
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