Kinetics of Inorganic Calcite Dissolution in Seawater under Pressure

Sijia Dong1, Adam Subhas2, Nick Rollins1, William Berelson3 and Jess F Adkins4, (1)University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (2)California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)University of Southern California, Department of Earth Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (4)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
While understanding calcium carbonate dissolution is vital in constructing global carbon cycles and predicting the effect of seawater acidification as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2, there is still a major debate over the basic formulation of a dissolution rate law. The kinetics of calcium carbonate dissolution are typically described by the equation: Rate=k(1-Ω)n, while Ω=[Ca2+][CO32-]/Ksp. In this study, 13C-labeled calcite is dissolved in unlabeled seawater and the evolving d13C composition of the fluid is traced over time to establish dissolution rate. Instead of changing ion concentration to obtain varying Ω (as in our previous study; Subhas et al. 2015), we changed Ksp by conducting experiments under different pressures (described in theory as ∂lnKsp/∂P=-ΔV/RT, where ΔV is partial molal volume). This involved the construction of a pressure vessel that could hold our sample bag and provide aliquots while remaining pressurized. Pressure experiments were conducted between 0-2000PSI. Results support the conclusion in our previous study that near-equilibrium dissolution rates are highly nonlinear, but give a disparate relationship between undersaturation and dissolution rate if Ω is calculated assuming the specific ΔV embedded in CO2SYS. A revised ΔV from -37cm3 to -65cm3 would make the dissolution formulation equation agree, but clearly appears unreasonable. Our results are explained by a pressure effect on carbonate dissolution kinetics over and above the influence of pressure on Ω. If this is a phenomenon that occurs in nature, then we would predict that dissolution should be occurring shallower in the water column (as sometimes observed) than indicated by standard Ω calculations.