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On the origin of phosphorites from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean


A detailed investigation of microstructures of the phosphorites from Christmas Island under a scanning electron microscope coupled with an analysis of their chemical composition revealed that both their structure and composition are quite similar to those of the granular and microgranular phosphorites on present-day continents, as well as those of the phosphorites on some of the Pacific guyots. Their composition, together with their geological position and interrelationships with the surrounding rocks, proves that the ornitogenic hypothesis based on the presumed guano accumulation followed by its transformation into phosphatic rock is not compatible with the field observations. Meanwhile, the problem of the source of the Fe and Mn impregnation in the phosphorites remains unresolved and needs further investigations.

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Correspondence to G. N. Baturin.

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Original Russian Text © E.L. Shkol’nik, G.N. Baturin, E.A. Zhegallo, 2008, published in Okeanologiya, 2008, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 101–112.

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Shkol’nik, E.L., Baturin, G.N. & Zhegallo, E.A. On the origin of phosphorites from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Oceanology 48, 94–104 (2008).

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  • Phosphorite
  • Atoll
  • Summit Plateau
  • Phosphatized Limestone
  • Phosphorite Formation