Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

2018 Edition
| Editors: William M. White


  • Christophe LécuyerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39312-4_254

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: Ca

Atomic Number: 20

Atomic Weight: 40.078(4)

Isotopes and Abundances: 40Ca, 96.941(156)%; 42Ca, 0.647(23)%; 43Ca, 0.135(10)%; 44Ca, 2.086(110)%; 48Ca, 0.187(21)%

1 Atm Melting Point: 840 °C

1 Atm Boiling Point: 1,484 °C

Common Valences: +2

Ionic Radii: 6-fold: 114 pm

Pauling Electronegativity: 1.00

First Ionization Potential: 589.83 kJ.mol−1

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 9,110 ppm (59,820 atoms/106 Si)

Silicate Earth Abundance: 25,300 ppm

Crustal Abundance: 41,500 ppm

Seawater Abundance: 412 to 420 ppm

Core Abundance: ~0


Calcium is a metal (alkaline earth) with a silvery color and a cubic crystal structure. This element belongs to group 2 and period 4 of the periodic table (Fig. 1). Calcium has 25 known isotopes of which 5 are stable (source of data: National Institute of Standards and Technology: http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/comp.cfm).
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Alt JC, Teagle DA (1999) The uptake of carbon during alteration of ocean crust. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 63:1527–1535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alt JC, Honnorez J, Laverne C, Emmermann R (1986) Hydrothermal alteration of a 1 km section through the upper oceanic crust, Deep Sea Drilling Project Hole 504B: mineralogy, chemistry and evolution of seawater-basalt interactions. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 91:10309–10335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson JJ, Klemmer PJ (2013) Risk of high dietary calcium for arterial calcification in older adults. Forum Nutr 5:3964–3974Google Scholar
  4. Bednarz U, Schmincke HU (1989) Mass transfer during sub-seafloor alteration of the upper Troodos crust (Cyprus). Contrib Mineral Petrol 102:93–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouvier A, Wadhwa M (2010) The age of the Solar System redefined by the oldest Pb–Pb age of a meteoritic inclusion. Nat Geosci 3:637–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruland KW, Middag R, Lohan MC (2014) 8.2 – controls of trace metals in seawater A2 – Holland, Heinrich D. In: Turekian KK (ed) Treatise on geochemistry, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 19–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caro G, Papanastassiou DA, Wasserburg GJ (2010) 40K-40Ca isotopic constraints on the oceanic calcium cycle. Earth Planet Sci Lett 296:124–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coursey JS, Schwab DJ, Tsai JJ, Dragoset RA (2010) Atomic weights and isotopic compositions. National Institute of Standards and Technology, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  9. Davy H (1808) The Bakerian lecture: on some new phenomena of chemical changes produced by electricity, particularly the decomposition of the fixed alkalies, and the exhibition of the new substances which constitute their bases; and on the general nature of alkaline bodies. Phil Trans R Soc London 98:1–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. de Villiers S (1998) Excess dissolved Ca in the deep ocean: a hydrothermal hypothesis. Earth Planet Sci Lett 164:627–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dickin AP (2005) Radiogenic isotope geology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 492 ppCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Domagalski JL, Eugster HP, Jones BF (1990) Trace metal geochemistry of Walker, Mono, and Great Salt Lakes. Fluid-Miner Interactions 2:315–353Google Scholar
  13. Fabry VJ, Seibel BA, Feely RA, Orr JC (2008) Impacts of ocean acidification on marine fauna and ecosystem processes. ICES J Mar Sci 65:414–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Findlay HS, Wood HL, Kendall MA, Spicer JI, Twitchett RJ, Widdicombe S (2009) Calcification, a physiological process to be considered in the context of the whole organism. Biogeosci Discuss 6:2267–2284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gale A, Dalton CA, Langmuir CH, Su Y, Schilling J-G (2013) The mean composition of ocean ridge basalts. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 14(3):489–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldschmidt VM (1926) Geochemische Verteilungsgesetze der Elemente. VII: Die Gesetze der Krystallochemie. Skrifter Norske Videnskaps Akad, Oslo, (I) Mat. Natur. K1, OsloGoogle Scholar
  17. Gothmann AM, Stolarski J, Adkins JF, Schoene B, Dennis KJ, Schrag DP, Mazur M, Bender ML (2015) Fossil corals as an archive of secular variations in seawater chemistry since the Mesozoic. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 160:188–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Graustein WC, Cromack K, Sollins P (1977) Calcium oxalate: occurrence in soils and effect on nutrient and geochemical cycles. Science 198:1252–1254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Haynes WM (2015) CRC handbook of chemistry and physics, 95th edn. CRC Press & Taylor and Francis, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  20. Langer MR, Silk MT, Lipps JH (1997) Global Ocean carbonate and carbon dioxide production; the role of reef Foraminifera. J Foram Res 27:271–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McCulloch M, Trotter J, Montagna P, Falter J, Dumbar R, Freiwald A, Försterra G, López Correa M, Maier C, Rüggeberg A, Taviani M (2012) Resilience of cold-water scleractinian corals to ocean acidification: boron isotopic systematics of pH and saturation state up-regulation. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 87:21–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Müller MN, Barcelos e Ramos J, Schulz KG, Riebesell U, Kazmierczak J, Gallo F, Mackinder L, Li Y, Nesterenko PN, Trull TW, Hallegraeff GM (2015) Phytoplankton calcification as an effective mechanism to prevent cellular calcium poisoning. Biogeosci Discuss 12:6493–6501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Palme H, O’Neill HSC (2014) 3.1 – Cosmochemical estimates of mantle composition. In: Turekian HDHK (ed) Treatise on geochemistry, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 1–39Google Scholar
  24. Palme H, Lodders K, Jones A (2014) 2.2 – solar system abundances of the elements A2. In: Holland HD, Turekian KK (eds) Treatise on geochemistry, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 15–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rudnick RL, Gao S (2005) Composition of the continental crust. In: Rudnick RL (ed) Treatise on geochemistry, The crust, vol 3. Elsevier-Pergamon, Oxford, pp 1–64Google Scholar
  26. Taylor SR, McLennan SM (1985) The continental crust: its composition and evolution. An examination of the geochemical record preserved in sedimentary rocks. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. 312 ppGoogle Scholar
  27. Wedepohl KH (1995) The composition of the continental crust. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:1217–1232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. White WM, Klein EM (2014) 4.13 – composition of the oceanic crust. In: Holland HD, Turekian KK (eds) Treatise on geochemistry, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 457–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, LGL-TPECNRS UMR 5276, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and Institut Universitaire de FranceLyonFrance