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Halite

This page kindly sponsored by George Frederick Huggins
Formula:
NaCl
Colour:
Colourless, whitish, yellow, red, purple or blue
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
Specific Gravity:
2.168
Crystal System:
Isometric
Member of:
Name:
From the Greek άλς, sea, for halites, later modified by J.D. Dana to halite.
Natural sodium chloride (also named rocksalt; water-soluble). Occurs both as evaporite deposits in saline lakes and water courses, or as bedded sedimentary deposits, or as salt domes.

Experimental volcanic gas condensation by Africano et al. (2002) shown halite to be the predominant sublimate in the 450-550oC range.

Recent studies show nanosized halite to be the second phase after aragonite that may primarily be deposited in a coral skeleton (Motai et al., 2016).


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Classification of HaliteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
3.AA.20

3 : HALIDES
A : Simple halides, without H2O
A : M:X = 1:1, 2:3, 3:5, etc.
9.1.1.1

9 : NORMAL HALIDES
1 : AX
8.1.3

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
1 : Halides of the alkali metals and ammonium

Physical Properties of HaliteHide

Vitreous
Transparency:
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Colourless, whitish, yellow, red, purple or blue
Streak:
White
Hardness:
2½ on Mohs scale
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
On {001}
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
2.168 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.165 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of HaliteHide

Type:
Isotropic
RI values:
n = 1.5443
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.000 - Isotropic minerals have no birefringence
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
Moderately strong
Pleochroism:
Weak
Comments:
The pleochroism is sometimes developed in coloured material after being subjected to pressure.
Comments:
Weakly anisotropic due to stress.

Chemical Properties of HaliteHide

Formula:
NaCl
Common Impurities:
I,Br,Fe,O

Crystallography of HaliteHide

Crystal System:
Isometric
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Fm3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.6404(1) Å
Unit Cell V:
179.44 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Normally cubic, rarely octahedral. Crystal faces often cavernous and stepped (hopper crystals). Massive. Coarsely granular to compact; columnar, stalactitic or capillary forms rare.
Twinning:
On {111} (artificial crystals).

Crystallographic forms of HaliteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Halite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Synonyms of HaliteHide

Other Language Names for HaliteHide

Basque:Halita
Catalan:Halita
Czech:Halit
Dutch:Haliet
Estonian:Haliit
Hebrew:הליט
Japanese:岩塩
Lithuanian:Halitas
Low Saxon:Halit
Norwegian (Bokmål):Halitt
Polish:Halit
Portuguese:Halita
Romanian:Sare gemă
Russian:Галит
Simplified Chinese:石盐
岩盐
Slovak:Halit
Traditional Chinese:石鹽
Ukrainian:Галіт

Varieties of HaliteHide

HuantajayiteA supposed argentian halite which leaves a milky-white suspension of AgCl when dissolved in water.

Relationship of Halite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
CarobbiiteKFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
GriceiteLiFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
SylviteKClIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
VilliaumiteNaFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m

Common AssociatesHide

AnhydriteCaSO4
CarnalliteKMgCl3 · 6H2O
ClaysA group of minerals, common in soils.
GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
KainiteKMg(SO4)Cl · 3H2O
KieseriteMgSO4 · H2O
PolyhaliteK2Ca2Mg(SO4)4 · 2H2O
SylviteKCl
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Gypsum75 photos of Halite associated with Gypsum on mindat.org.
Selenite59 photos of Halite associated with Selenite on mindat.org.
Sylvite58 photos of Halite associated with Sylvite on mindat.org.
Leonite20 photos of Halite associated with Leonite on mindat.org.
Nahcolite20 photos of Halite associated with Nahcolite on mindat.org.
Burkeite9 photos of Halite associated with Burkeite on mindat.org.
Picromerite9 photos of Halite associated with Picromerite on mindat.org.
Anhydrite9 photos of Halite associated with Anhydrite on mindat.org.
Trona8 photos of Halite associated with Trona on mindat.org.
Carnallite7 photos of Halite associated with Carnallite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

3.AA.05MarshiteCuIIso. 4 3m : F4 3m
3.AA.05Miersite(Ag,Cu)IIso. 4 3m : F4 3m
3.AA.05NantokiteCuClIso. 4 3m : F4 3m
3.AA.05UM1999-11:I:CuSCu(I,S)
3.AA.10IodargyriteAgIHex. 6mm : P6mm
3.AA.10Tocornalite(Ag,Hg)I
3.AA.15BromargyriteAgBrIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
3.AA.15ChlorargyriteAgClIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
3.AA.20CarobbiiteKFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
3.AA.20GriceiteLiFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
3.AA.20SylviteKClIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
3.AA.20VilliaumiteNaFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
3.AA.25SalammoniacNH4ClIso. 4 3 2
3.AA.25UM1998-03-Cl:TlTlCl
3.AA.25LafossaiteTl(Cl,Br)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3m
3.AA.30Calomel(Hg2)2+Cl2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mmm
3.AA.30Kuzminite(Hg2+2)(Br,Cl)2Tet.
3.AA.30Moschelite(Hg2+2)I2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mmm
3.AA.35NeighboriteNaMgF3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
3.AA.40ChlorocalciteKCaCl3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
3.AA.45KolaritePbTeCl2Orth.
3.AA.50RadhakrishnaitePbTe3(Cl,S)2Tet.
3.AA.55ChallacolloiteKPb2Cl5Mon. 2/m : P21/b
3.AA.60HephaistositeTlPb2Cl5Mon. 2/m : P21/b

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

9.1.1.2SylviteKClIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
9.1.1.3VilliaumiteNaFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
9.1.1.4CarobbiiteKFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
9.1.1.5GriceiteLiFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

8.1.1GriceiteLiFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
8.1.2VilliaumiteNaFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
8.1.4HydrohaliteNaCl · 2H2OMon.
8.1.5CarobbiiteKFIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
8.1.6SylviteKClIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
8.1.7SalammoniacNH4ClIso. 4 3 2

Fluorescence of HaliteHide

Red (SW UV)[Searles Lake, CA]. Orange (SW) [Poland]

Other InformationHide

Thermal Behaviour:
Melts at 804°C.
Notes:
Easily soluble in water.
Special Storage/
Display Requirements:
Avoid humid environments.
Health Risks:
Licking or ingesting raw halite in the "wild" could cause health problems due to unidentified admixed substances (such as alkaline compounds).
Industrial Uses:
Edible salt, chlorine production

Halite in petrologyHide

An essential component of (items highlighted in red)

References for HaliteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Karsten (1845) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 36: 127. [as Martinsite].
Adam, M. (1869) Tableau minéralogique, Paris. [as Natrikalite].
Dana (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. ed.: 112.
Exner (1873) Härte an Krystallflächen, Wien.
Raimondi (1876) in: Domeyko, Min. Chili, 5th. Appendix (as Huantajayite).
Cesàro (1888) Société géologique de Belgique, Liége, Memoir: 15: 204.
Brauns (1889) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 1: 113.
Bragg (1914) Royal Society of London, Proceedings: 9A: 468.
Straumanis and Ievins (1914) Zeitschrift für Physik, Brunswick, Berlin: 109: 468.
Tertsch (1932) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 81: 264.
Paniche (1933) Periodico de Mineralogia-Roma: 4: 25. [as β-halite].
Murzaev (1941) Ac.sc. Leningrad Comptes rendus (Doklady): 33: 306. [as Saltspar].
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Seventh edition, Volume II: 4-7.
Panichi, U. (1933) Sul dimorfismo del salgemma e della silvite. Periodico di Mineralogia: 25-33.
Hunt, G.R., Salisbury, J.W., Lenhoff, C.J. (1972) Visible and near-infrared spectra of minerals and rocks: V. Halides, phosphates, arsenates, vanadates and borates. Modern Geology: 3: 121-132.
Basso R., Della Giusta A., Isetti G. (1977) Anomalie ottiche in cristalli di salgemma. Periodico di mineralogia: 91-98.
Janz, G.J. (1980) Molten-salts data as reference-standards for density, surface-tension viscosity and electrical conductance - KNO3 and NaCl. Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data: 9: 791-829.
Williams-Jones, A.E., Samson, I.M. (1990) Theoretical estimation of halite solubility in the system NaCl-CaCl2-H2O: applications to fluid inclusions. The Canadian Mineralogist: 28: 299-304.
Sonnenfeld, P. (1995) The color of rock salt - a review. Sedimentary Geology: 94: 267-276.
Wang, K., Reeber, R.R. (1996) Thermal expansion of alkali halides at high pressure: NaCl as an example Sample: T = 300 K, Molar volume = 26.98 cc/mol. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 23: 354-360.
Africano, F., Van Rompaey, G., Bernard, A., Le Guern, F. (2002) Deposition of trace elements from high temperature gases of Satsuma-Iwojima volcano. Earth Planets Space: 54: 275-286.
Matsui, M., Higo, Y., Okamoto, Y., Irifune, T., Funakoshi, K.-I. (2012) Simultaneous sound velocity and density measurements of NaCl at high temperatures and pressures: Application as a primary pressure standard. American Mineralogist: 97: 1670-1675.
Sylwia M. Zelek, Aleksandra Wesełucha-Birczyńska, Janusz Szklarzewicz, Katarzyna M. Stadnicka (2015) Spectroscopic properties of halite from Kłodawa salt mine, central Poland. Mineralogy and Petrology: 109: 45-51. [on blue halite].
Motai, S., Kawano, J., Nagai, T., Sowa, K., Watanabe, T. (2016) Precipitation of halite during calcification of the massive reef-building coral Porites lobata. European Journal of Mineralogy: 28 (in press); http://forum.amiminerals.it/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12401

Internet Links for HaliteHide

Localities for HaliteHide

This 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.

Locality ListShow

Mineral and/or Locality  
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