Earlier attempts at solution models for the ternary carbonate system have been unable to adequately accommodate the cation ordering which occurs in some of the carbonate phases. The carbonate solution model of this study combines a Margules type of interaction model with a Bragg-Williams type of ordering model. The ordering model determines the equilibrium state of order for a crystal, from which the cation distribution within the lattice can be obtained. The interaction model addresses the effect that mixing different cation species within a given cation layer has on the total free energy of the system. An ordering model was derived, based on the Bragg-Williams approach; it is applicable to ternary systems involving three cations substituting on two sites, and contains three ordering energy parameters (WCaMg, WCaFe, and WCaMgFe). The solution model of this study involves six Margules-type interaction parameters (W12, W21, W13, W31, W23, and W32). Values for the two sets of energy parameters were calculated from experimental data and from compositional relationships in natural assemblages. ?? 1993 Springer-Verlag.