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Colourless, bluish, ...
Vitreous, Greasy, Pearly
3 - 3½
Named in 1804 by Abraham Gottlieb Werner from the Greek άνυδρος ("anhydros") meaning "without water", in allusion to the lack of water in its composition, in contrast to Gypsum, which contains water.
Isostructural with Ferruccite; isostructural and isomorphous with α-BaSO4 and α-SrSO4.

Visit for gemological information about Anhydrite.

Classification of Anhydrite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
A : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, without H2O
D : With only large cations

3 : AXO4

25 : Sulphates
4 : Sulphates of Ca, Sr and Ba

Anhydrite in petrology

An essential component of (items highlighted in red)

Occurrences of Anhydrite

Type Occurrence of Anhydrite

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Mining Academy, Freiberg, Germany 16538

Physical Properties of Anhydrite

Vitreous, Greasy, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Pearly on {010}
Colourless, bluish, blue-grey, violet, burgundy-red, white, rose-pink, brownish, reddish, grey, dark grey; colourless in transmitted light
White, off-white, greyish
Hardness (Mohs):
3 - 3½
On {010} perfect; on {100} nearly perfect; on {001} good to imperfect.
Irregular/Uneven, Splintery
2.98(1) g/cm3 (Measured)    2.95 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Anhydrite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 6.245(1) Å, b = 6.995(2) Å, c = 6.993(2) Å
a:b:c = 0.893 : 1 : 1
Unit Cell Volume:
V 305.48 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals equant, or nearly so, with large pinacoidal faces. Also Thick tabular on {010}, {100}, or {001}; elongated [100] or [001]. Massive. Fine granular to scaly; fibrous (either parallel, radiated or plumose) and frequently curved. Contorted concretionary forms (bowel stone).
1.) On {011} as contact twins and polysynthetic lamellae (may be produced by heating or pressure); 2.) On {120} as contact twins, rare.

Crystallographic forms of Anhydrite

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
Anhydrite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Anhydrite no.6 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Anhydrite no.19 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Anhydrite no.28 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Anhydrite no.32 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Anhydrite no.37 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
3.499 (100)
2.849 (29)
2.3282 (20)
2.2090 (20)
1.8692 (16)
1.7500 (11)
1.6483 (15)

Optical Data of Anhydrite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.567 - 1.574 nβ = 1.574 - 1.579 nγ = 1.609 - 1.618
Measured: 36° to 45°, Calculated: 44°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.042 - 0.044
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Strong r < v
Violet coloured material: X = colourless to very light yellow or rose; Y = light violet or rose; Z = violet.

Chemical Properties of Anhydrite

All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:

Relationship of Anhydrite to other Species

25.4.2BassaniteCaSO4 · 0.5H2O
25.4.3GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
25.4.6EugsteriteNa4Ca(SO4)3 · 2H2O
25.4.7HydroglauberiteNa10Ca3(SO4)8 · 6H2O
25.4.8SyngeniteK2Ca(SO4)2 · H2O
25.4.9GörgeyiteK2Ca5(SO4)6 · H2O
25.4.10PolyhaliteK2Ca2Mg(SO4)4 · 2H2O
25.4.11Koktaite(NH4)2Ca(SO4)2 · H2O
25.4.13EttringiteCa6Al2(SO4)3(OH)12 · 26H2O
25.4.14BentoriteCa6(Cr3+,Al)2(SO4)3(OH)12 · 26H2O

Other Names for Anhydrite

Other Information

Thermal Behaviour:
Inverts to α-CaSO4 at 1193°. Melting Point = ~ 1450°.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Anhydrite

Reference List:
von Fichtel, J.E. (1794) Vom Lilalith. Mineralogische Aufsätze, Wien: 226-236. [as salzsaurer Kalk, Muriazit, schuppiger Gypsstein, footnote on p. 228 refering to Abbé Nicolaus Poda von Neuhaus]

Poda, A.N. (1794) Vom Lilalith. in: Mineralogische Aufsätze, Mathias Andreas Schmidt (Wein) 226-236.

Werner (1800). [as Würfelspath]

Haüy, R.J. (1801) Traité de minéralogie. First edition: in 4 volumes with atlas in fol.: 2. [as Soude muriatée gypsifère (of Hall); from Klaproth's analysis in Beiträge: 1: 307 (1795)]

Haüy, R.J. (1801) Chaux sulfatée anhydre, c'est-à-dire, privée d'eau. Traité de minéralogie. First edition: in 4 volumes with atlas in fol.: 4: 348-353. [as Chaux sulfatée anhydre (from Bex) Vauquelin].

Klaproth, M.H. (1803) Chemische Untersuchung des Muriacit. Neues Allgemeines Journal der Chemie: 1: 355-362.

Ludwig, C.F. (1803) Handbuch der Mineralogie nach A.G. Werner. 2 volumes, Leipzig: 1: 51, 166. [as Cube Spar]

Werner (1803). [as Anhydrit]

Flurl, M. (1804) Einige Bemerkungen über den wasserfreyen Gyps (Anhydrit) und den Muriacit oder Würfelspath. Physikalische Abhandlungen der Königlich - Baierischen Akademie der Wissenschaften: 2: 128-140.

Ludwig, C.F. (1804) A. G. Werners Mineral - System, Erste Klasse Erdige Fossilien, VI. Kalk - Geschlecht. Handbuch der Mineralogie nach A.G. Werner. 2 volumes, Leipzig: 2: 169,170. [as Kieselgyps; Vulpinit, Würfelgyps]

Klaproth, M.H. (1807) Chemische Untersuchung des Anhydrits. in: Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, vol. 4: 231. [as Anhydrit; Pierre de tripes]

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen. Second edition: 880. [as Karstenit]

Schrauf (1860) Königliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Sitzungsberichte, Vienna: 39: 887.

Hessenberg (1872) Senck. Ges. Frankfurt, Abh.: 8: 1.

Mügge (1883) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: II: 258.

Danker (1886) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Beil.-Bd., Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 4: 272.

Goldschmidt, V. (1886) Index der Krystallformen der Mineralien. 3 volumes: vol. 1, 601pp.: 211.

Mülheims (1888) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie: 14: 228.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 910.

Zimányi (1893) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie: 22: 341.

Mügge (1898) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: I: 71.

Vater (1899) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie: 31: 571.

Sommerfeldt (1907) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: I: 139 (as Metanhydrit).

Sommerfeldt (1909) Zentralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Stuttgart: 22: 189 (as Metanhydrit).

Kolb (1911) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographieg: 49: 14: 25.

Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 1: 56.

Emerson (1916) American Journal of Science: 42: 233.

Butler (1919) Economic Geology: 14: 581.

Veit (1922) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Beil.-Bd., Stuttgart: 45: 133.

Kinoshita (1925) Journal of the Geological Society of Tokyo: 32: 9.

Basche and Mark (1926) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie: 64: 22.

Dickson and Binks (1926) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 2: 114.

Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 (3B): 3735, 3780.

Schaller (1932) USGS Bulletin 832.

Berek and Strieder (1933) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie: 86: 212.

Tertsch (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie: 87: 326.

Przibram (1936) Kali: 30: 61.

Posnjak (1940) American Journal of Science: 238: 559.

Engelhardt (1945) Chemie der Erde: 15: 424.

Zimmer, P.W. (1947) Anhydrite and gypsum in the Lyon Mountain magnetite deposit of the northeastern Adirondacks. American Mineralogist: 32: 647.

Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 407, 424-428.

Groves, A.W. (1958) Gypsum and Anhydrite, 108 p. Overseas Geological Surveys, London.

Höhne, E. (1962) A more accurate determination of the crystal structure of anhydrite, CaSO4. Soviet Physics - Crystallography: 7: 559-569.

Hardie, L.A. (1967) The gypsum-anhydrite equilibrium at one atmosphere pressure. American Mineralogist: 52: 171-200.

Hawthorne, F.C., Ferguson, R.B. (1975) Anhydrous sulphates. II. Refinement of the crystal structure of anhydrite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 13: 289-292.

Ramboz, C., Oudin, E., Thisse, Y. (1988) Geyser-type discharge in the Atlantis II Deep, Red Sea: evidence of boiling from fluid inclusions in epigenetic anhydrite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 26: 765-786.

Sarma, L.P., Prasad, P.S.R., Ravikumar, N. (1998) Raman spectroscopic study of phase transitions in natural gypsum. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy: 29: 851-856.

Majzlan, J., Navrotsky, A., Neil, J.M. (2002) Energetics of anhydrite, barite, celestine, and anglesite: a high-temperature and differential scanning calorimetry study. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 66: 1839-1850.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., Nichols, M.C. (2003) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume V. Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 813pp.: 25.

Freyer, D., Voigt, W. (2003) Crystallization and phase stability of CaSO4 and CaSO4-based salts. Monatshefte für Chemie: 134: 693-719.

Zimbelman, D.R., Rye, R.O., Breit, G.N. (2005) Origin of secondary sulfate minerals on active andesitic stratovolcanoes. Chemical Geology: 215: 37:60.

Walter, F. (2005) Anhydrit als Einschluß in alpinen Quarzen der Ostalpen. Carinthia II: 195./115., 85-96.

Lane, M.D. (2007) Mid-infrared emission spectroscopy of sulfate and sulfate-bearing minerals. American Mineralogist: 92: 1-18.

Christensen, A.N., Olesen, M., Cerenius, Y., Jensen, T.R. (2008) Formation and transformation of five different phases in the CaSO4-H2O system: Crystal structure of the subhydrate β-CaSO4·0.5H2O and soluble anhydrite CaSO4. Chemistry of Materials: 20: 2124-2132.

Walter, F. (2008) Anhydrit in Quarzkristallen aus den Ostalpen. Schweizer Strahler: 3: 10-14.

Bishop, J.L., Lane, M.D., Dyar, M.D., King, S.J., Brown, A.J., Swayze, G.A. (2014) Spectral properties of Ca-sulfates: gypsum, bassanite, and anhydrite. American Mineralogist: 99: 2105-2115.

Ossorio, M., Van Driessche, A.E.S., Pérez, P., García-Ruiz, J.M. (2014) The gypsum-anhydrite paradox revisited. Chemical Geology: 386: 16-21.

Huang, R., Keppler, H. (2015) Anhydrite stability and the effect of Ca on the behavior of sulfur in felsic magmas. American Mineralogist: 100: 257-266.

Nowak, M. (2015) Anhydrite: an important sulfur binder limiting the climatic impact of subaerial volcanic eruptions. American Mineralogist: 100: 341-342.

Internet Links for Anhydrite URL:
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Localities for Anhydrite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
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