Rates of dissolution of aluminosilicates in seawater

A. Lerman*, F. T. Mackenzie, O. P. Bricker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Dissolution of eight clay minerals, four zeolites, and quartz in seawater has been monitored for 8 1 2 years. For most of the minerals, dissolution can be described as a first-order reaction in which dissolved silica approaches from undersaturation steady concentration values with time. Characteristic reaction rate constants (k1) are of the order of 10-7 sec-1. One of the zeolites, clinoptilolite, shows a different dissolution behavior: SiO2 concentration in solution reaches a high value within one year, followed by a decline to a lower value, suggestive of precipitation of another silicate phase (possibly sepiolite). A mathematical solution is given for a kinetic equation combining the parabolic-rate and first-order rate processes. It is shown that in a wide range of silicate dissolution reactions taking place over long periods of time, the presence of the parabolic-rate dissolution processes cannot be detected, thereby making its inclusion in the kinetic equations unnecessary. The experimental rates of dissolution are comparable to the SiO2- dissolution rates in oceanic sediments near the sediment/water interface. But deeper in the sediment, the calculated dissolution rates are significantly lower than the near-interface and experimental values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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