Calcium carbonate Museum

Where CaCO3 came from?

Origin of CaCO3

Our Earth reserves inexhaustible huge amount of CaCO3. Why so much CaCO3 exist on the Earth? It depends on the Earth destiny which related long term environmental change and origin of life in solar system. Birth of Earth was 4.6 Billion years ago. A new-born Earth completely differs from the present Earth. The main component of the atmosphere was carbon dioxide(CO2) and nitrogen(N2) and oxygen did not exist. The table below compares primordial Earth’s atmosphere to present Earth’s atmosphere, present Venus’s atmosphere and present Mars’s atmosphere. Although atmospheric pressure differs, respectively, while present Earth’s atmosphere consists of nitrogen and oxygen, primordial Earth’s atmosphere, present Venus’s atmosphere and present Mars’s atmosphere each atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Why these atmospheric differences had been occurred?

Origin of calcium carbonate

  Primordial Earth Present Earth Present Venus Present Mars
Atmospheric composition CO2(the main component)
CO2 0.035%
N2 78%
O2 21%
CO2 96%
N2 3%
CO2 95%
N2 3%
The pressure of the atmosphere Several tens of MPa
(several hundreds of pressure)
(1 pressure)
(920 pressure)
(0.007 pressure)
Carbone dioxide in the primordial Earth's atmosphere was changed to limestone (i.e. calcium carbonate). As a result, Carbon dioxide was removed from the atmosphere.  Why only in Earth that kind of phenomenon was happened? Because Earth had held a lot of water(sea water) which could dissolve huge amount of carbonate dioxide. Carbon dioxide which dissolved in water reacted with calcium ion which came from rocks in the sea and accumulated in the bottom of the sea as a calcium carbonate.
After birth of life-form, carbon dioxide decreased at a tremendous velocity. Besides calcareous skeleton life-forms such as shells, fusulina, and sea lilies had been absorbing carbon dioxide rapidly to form their calcium carbonate bodies. A part of CaCO3 was decomposed to calcium and CO2 by heat of magma, but almost CaCO3 accumulated on the Earth’s crust. In contrast oxygen concentration increased by vegetables. In this manner spending a long time the primordial Earth had been changed gradually to accumulate calcium carbonate. In other words calcium carbonate could exist only in Earth and it can also be said CaCO3 is symbolic of lives. Conversely in Venus and Mars it does not found CaCO3 show give a sign of sea and lives.
In the future if we move to Mars, to make cement for building stuff it might import CaCO3 from the Earth.
It is said that limestone deposit in Japan was formed in Carboniferous period to the Permian period (about 200 ~300 million years ago) At that era, there was one big continent called Pangea. Before the age of the dinosaurs big dragonfly, insects and amphibian animals played the lead in the continent where big pteridophyte, gymnosperms and reptiles had grown. In the ancient sea coelacanths, lungfishes Teleostei had propagated. Mean while in Tethys Sea near Pangea equatorial region, a coral reef was spread and calcium carbonate accumulated. By the global scale Variscan orogeny, a strata layer called "Chichibu" paleozoic strata which construct the Japanese islands was formed in the same era. After that Pangea was separated into 7 continents and moved to the present position very slowly.

Source of CaCO3, - Karst -

A region of CaCO3 source, a peculiar topography is observed called ”Karst”. Karst was made by rain encroaching the limestone rock. This phenomena depends on the chemical property that calcium carbonate is easy to dissolve to water(with carbon dioxide). Rainwater runs on the surface of limestone and penetrated limestone from a crack in a rock and is encroaching on the limestone for a long time, so that formed a singular geographical features. There are many Karst in Japan ”Hiraodai Kyushu”, “Akiyoshidai Yamaguchi”, ”Shikoku karst”, “Ohumi Karst”, “Ohme Karst”, “Hachinohe Karst”. They are known as picturesque scenery with its limestone caves and stone pagodas. There are many Karst not only in Japan but also in the world.
Guilin in China is very famous.
  • Calcium carbonate Museum
  • Where CaCO3 came from?
  • CaCO3 Properties
  • CaCO3 in our life field
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