Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Dolomite, Microbial

  • Jennifer A. Roberts
  • Paul A. Kenward
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_76


Bacterial dolomite; Organogenic dolomite


Dolomite. Widely distributed rock-forming mineral, CaMg(CO3)2. Usually, white or colorless, but can be yellowish and brown with rhombohedral crystals exhibiting curved, composite faces. It also occurs with massive and granular habit and has rhombohedral {1011} cleavage.

Dolomitization. The process of converting calcite in limestones to dolomite by the action of magnesium-bearing solutions.


The mineral dolomite is notoriously difficult to synthesize under laboratory conditions at low temperature (less than 50°C) and despite its abundance in the ancient rock record, scarcely forms in modern environments. This apparent departure from the geologists’ guiding principle that the “present is the key to the past,” established by Hutton’s principle of uniformitarianism, is at the heart of the “Dolomite Problem,” which is a twofold issue (e.g., McKenzie, 1991).

The dolomite problem

The first aspect of the problem is the...


Extracellular Polymeric Substance Anaerobic Methane Oxidation Dolomite Formation Ancient Rock Microbial Cell Wall 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA