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Calcite, Calcium Carbonate

Other Names

CaCO 3 , Coccolithophore calcite


A crystal form of the mineral calcium carbonate, CaCO 3
Calcium carbonate is formed biogenically by several species of organisms in the oceans in two crystal structures (polymorphs), called calcite and aragonite. The microscopic marine organisms called coccolithophorids form a large amount of calcite at or near the oceanic surface, which is important to the ar-sea exchange of carbon dioxide and also ocean chemistry as these mineral forms sink and dissolve in the oceanic depths. Due to their highly reflective nature, coccolithophorids and the calcite they produce can be estimated by satellite remote sensing.


(1) Ocean chemistry (3) Atmosphere-ocean gas exchange
(2) Ocean biology (4) Climate change


Visible (400-700 nm)

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Last updated: Sep 09, 2009 02:27 PM ET