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ABSTRACT

Humic acid dissolved in artificial seawater influenced the morphology, internal structure, and composition of aragonite when precipitation was induced with dilute Na2CO3 solution. At sodium humate concentrations of around 20 mg/1, numerous brownish spherical aragonite bodies developed within one day at 25 °C. The spheres ranged in size from 10–100 microns and resembled natural marine ooids. They formed with gentle agitation of the solution as well as with no water movement at all. The typical structure of natural ooids consisting of concentric alternating aragonite and organic laminae was experimentally duplicated as layers of aragonite crystals alternating with humate membranes; however, in contrast to natural ooids, the individual aragonite crystals here were oriented radially with their c-axes. The aragonite of the spheres contained about 20 wt. % more strontium than the aragonite precipitated experimentally without the addition of sodium humate, and organic carbon content of the spherical aragonite was about 7% by weight.