Home » Minerals » Halite

Halite


The mineral that everyone knows as "salt"



What is Halite?



Halite is the mineral name for the substance that everyone knows as "salt". Its chemical name is sodium chloride and a rock composed primarily of halite is known as "rock salt".


How Does Halite Form?



Halite is mainly a sedimentary mineral that usually forms in arid climates where ocean water evaporates. However, many inland lakes such as the Great Salt Lake of North America and the Dead Sea between Jordan and Israel are also locations where halite is forming today. Over geologic time several enormous salt deposits have been formed when repeated episodes of seawater evaporation occurred in restricted basins. Some of these deposits are thousands of feet thick. When buried deeply they can erupt to form salt domes.


How is Halite Used?



Salt has many uses. Most of the salt produced is crushed and used in the winter on roads to control the accumulation of snow and ice. Significant amounts of salt are also used by the chemical industry. Salt is an essential nutrient for humans and most animals and it is also a favorite seasoning for many types of food. Salt is a mineral that everyone knows.


Physical Properties of Halite

Chemical Classification halide
Color colorless or white when pure; impurities produce any color but usually yellow, gray, black, brown, red
Streak white
Luster vitreous
Diaphaneity transparent to translucent
Cleavage perfect, cubic, three directions at right angles
Mohs Hardness 2.5
Specific Gravity 2
Diagnostic Properties cleavage, solubility, salty taste - (The taste test is discouraged. Some minerals are toxic or contaminated by other people tasting them.)
Chemical Composition NaCl
Crystal System isometric
Uses winter road treatment, a source of sodium and chlorine for chemical processes, food preservation, seasoning



Find it on Geology.com




More from Geology.com


Ant Hill Garnets
Ant Hill Garnets are tiny garnets that ants haul to the surface and discard on their anthill. Honest!
rock tumblers
Rock Tumblers - All about rock tumblers and rock tumbling. Read before you buy a tumbler.
Gems from Space
Gems from Space A number of materials from space have been used as attractive gems.
strontium titanate
Strontium Titanate is a man- made diamond simulant with a fire much stronger than diamond.
Petrified Wood
Petrified Wood is a fossil that forms when dissolved material precipitates and replaces wood.
Spodumene
Spodumene - an ore of lithium and the mineral of the gems kunzite and hiddenite.
Heliodor
Heliodor is a yellow, greenish-yellow or golden yellow beryl used as a gem.
tallest structure
Magnolia TLP is an oil platform in the Gulf sometimes called the tallest structure on Earth.


Halite
Halite from Retsof, New York. Specimen is approximately 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) across.
Salton Sea Halite
Halite from the Salton Sea, California. Specimen is approximately 4 inches (10 centimeters) across.




More Minerals
  Hand Lens
  Minerals
  Fluorescent Minerals
  Mohs Hardness Scale
  Diamond
  Diamonds Do Not Form From Coal
  Calcite
  United States Gemstones






© 2005-2016 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code, and content on this website are property of Geology.com and are protected by copyright law.
Geology.com does not grant permission for any use, republication, or redistribution.
Images, code and content owned by others are marked on the pages where they appear.