Barker, Daniel S. Department of Geological Sciences, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Styles of occurrence
- Associated rocks
- Geographic distribution
- Chemical composition
- Genesis of carbonate-rich magma
- Criteria for recognition
- Economic significance
- Tectonic significance
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An igneous rock in which carbonate minerals make up at least half the volume. Individual occurrences of carbonatite are not numerous (527 have been claimed) and generally are small, but they are widely distributed. Carbonatites are important scientifically because they reveal clues about the composition and thermal history of the Earth's mantle. Economically, carbonatites provide important mines for some mineral commodities and are virtually the only sources of a few. See also: Carbonate minerals
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