Halite from the Wieliczka salt mine, Małopolskie, Poland
Halite cubes from the Stassfurt Potash Deposit, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (size: 6.7 × 1.9 × 1.7 cm)
Unusual halite crystals from Faiyum, Egypt
Hopper crystal cast of halite in a Jurassic rock, Carmel Formation, Utah
Sharp halite crystals that have this green color from inclusions of malachite
Large natural crystal of halite, showing cubic crystal form
Pink color halite on a matrix covered with minute nahcolite
Halite from Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Mine in Rocanville, Saskatchewan, Canada
Halite Bore sample, Laos

Type of salt, the mineral form of sodium chloride (NaCl).

- Halite

477 related topics



Mineral with the chemical formula CaSO4.

Anhydrite, Chihuahua, Mexico
Crystal structure of anhydrite
Relief carving of an anhydrite kiln, made from a piece of anhydrite, by Ophelia Gordon Bell

Anhydrite is commonly associated with calcite, halite, and sulfides such as galena, chalcopyrite, molybdenite, and pyrite in vein deposits.


Salt deposits beside the Dead Sea
Halite (rock salt) from the Wieliczka salt mine, Małopolskie, Poland
Bolivian rose salt from Andes
Loading sea salt at an evaporation pond in Walvis Bay, Namibia; halophile organisms give it a red colour
Salt production in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt (1670)
Ponds near Maras, Peru, fed from a mineral spring and used for salt production since pre-Inca times.
SEM image of a grain of table salt
Comparison of table salt with kitchen salt. Shows a typical salt shaker and salt bowl with salt spread before each on a black background.
Irregular crystals of sea salt
Himalayan salt is halite with a distinct pink color
Two men with stacks of rock salt in Bamyan, Afghanistan
Sea salt evaporation pond at Walvis Bay. Halophile organisms impart a red colour
Bread and salt at a Russian wedding ceremony

Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in the form of a natural crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite.


Chemical element with the symbol Cl and atomic number 17.

Carl Wilhelm Scheele, discoverer of chlorine
Chlorine, liquefied under a pressure of 7.4 bar at room temperature, displayed in a quartz ampule embedded in acrylic glass.
Solid chlorine at −150 °C
Structure of solid deuterium chloride, with D···Cl hydrogen bonds
Hydrated nickel(II) chloride, NiCl2(H2O)6.
Yellow chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas above a solution containing chlorine dioxide.
Structure of dichlorine heptoxide, Cl2O7, the most stable of the chlorine oxides
Suggested mechanism for the chlorination of a carboxylic acid by phosphorus pentachloride to form an acyl chloride
Liquid chlorine analysis
Membrane cell process for chloralkali production
Ignaz Semmelweis
Liquid Pool Chlorine
Chlorine "attack" on an acetal resin plumbing joint resulting from a fractured acetal joint in a water supply system which started at an injection molding defect in the joint and slowly grew until the part failed; the fracture surface shows iron and calcium salts that were deposited in the leaking joint from the water supply before failure and are the indirect result of the chlorine attack

The most common compound of chlorine, sodium chloride, has been known since ancient times; archaeologists have found evidence that rock salt was used as early as 3000 BC and brine as early as 6000 BC.

Cubic crystal system

Crystal system where the unit cell is in the shape of a cube.

A rock containing three crystals of pyrite (FeS2). The crystal structure of pyrite is primitive cubic, and this is reflected in the cubic symmetry of its natural crystal facets.
A network model of a primitive cubic system
The primitive and cubic close-packed (also known as face-centered cubic) unit cells
Visualisation of a diamond cubic unit cell: 1. Components of a unit cell, 2. One unit cell, 3. A lattice of 3 x 3 x 3 unit cells
A caesium chloride unit cell. The two colors of spheres represent the two types of atoms.
This graphic shows the interlocking simple cubic lattices of cesium and chlorine. You can see them separately and as they are interlocked in what looks like a body-centered cubic arrangement
The rock-salt crystal structure. Each atom has six nearest neighbours, with octahedral geometry.
A zincblende unit cell
The structure of the Heusler compounds with formula X2YZ (e. g., Co2MnSi).
Diagram of the iron monosilicide structure.
Weaire–Phelan structure

In the rock-salt or sodium chloride (halite) structure, each of the two atom types forms a separate face-centered cubic lattice, with the two lattices interpenetrating so as to form a 3D checkerboard pattern.


High-concentration solution of salt in water (H2O).

A NASA technician measures the concentration level of brine using a hydrometer at a salt evaporation pond in San Francisco.

Modification of seawater via evaporation results in the concentration of salts in the residual fluid, a characteristic geologic deposit called an evaporite is formed as different dissolved ions reach the saturation states of minerals, typically gypsum and halite.


Soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4*2H2O.

Gypsum crystals are soft enough to bend under pressure of the hand. Sample on display at Musée cantonal de géologie de Lausanne.
Gypsum works, Valencian Museum of Ethnology
Map of gypsum deposits in northern Ohio, black squares indicate the location of deposits, from "Geography of Ohio", 1923
Gypsum crystals in the Cave of the Crystals in Mexico (person at lower right for scale)
Gypsum crystals formed as the water evaporated in Lake Lucero, White Sands National Park
Gypsum veins in the silts/marls of the Tea Green and Grey Marls, Blue Anchor, Somerset, United Kingdom
Gypsum veins in Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, Texas
Dunes made of small crystals of gypsum, White Sands National Park
Golden gypsum crystals from Winnipeg
Gypsum sand from White Sands National Park, New Mexico
Green gypsum crystals from Pernatty Lagoon, Mt Gunson, South Australia - its green color is due to presence of copper ions.
Unusual selenite gypsum from the Red River, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Classic "ram's horn" gypsum from Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico, 7.5×4.3×3.8 cm
Desert rose, 47 cm long
Gypsum from Pernatty Lagoon, Mt Gunson, Stuart Shelf area, Andamooka Ranges - Lake Torrens area, South Australia, Australia
Gypsum with crystalline native copper inside
Gypsum from Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia. The coloring is due to the copper oxide
Waterclear twined crystal of the form known as "Roman sword". Fuentes de Ebro, Zaragoza (Spain)
Bright, cherry-red gypsum crystals 2.5 cm in height colored by rich inclusions of the rare mineral botryogen
Gypsum from Naica, Mun. de Saucillo, Chihuahua, Mexico
Golden color gem, "fishtail"-twinned crystals of gypsum sitting atop a "ball" of gypsum which is composed of several single bladed crystals

It is often associated with the minerals halite and sulfur.


Chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11.

Emission spectrum for sodium, showing the D line.
A positive flame test for sodium has a bright yellow color.
The structure of sodium chloride, showing octahedral coordination around Na+ and Cl− centres. This framework disintegrates when dissolved in water and reassembles when the water evaporates.
Two equivalent images of the chemical structure of sodium stearate, a typical soap.
The structure of the complex of sodium (Na+, shown in yellow) and the antibiotic monensin-A.
NaK phase diagram, showing the melting point of sodium as a function of potassium concentration. NaK with 77% potassium is eutectic and has the lowest melting point of the NaK alloys at −12.6 °C.

Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and exists in numerous minerals such as feldspars, sodalite, and halite (NaCl).


Water-soluble sedimentary mineral deposit that results from concentration and crystallization by evaporation from an aqueous solution.

A cobble encrusted with halite evaporated from the Dead Sea, Israel (with Israeli ₪1 coin [diameter 18mm] for scale)
Hopper crystal cast of halite in a Jurassic rock, Carmel Formation, southwestern Utah
Hanksite, Na22K(SO4)9(CO3)2Cl, one of the few minerals that is both a carbonate and a sulfate

At this point, the mineral gypsum begins to form, which is then followed by halite at 10%, excluding carbonate minerals that tend not to be evaporites.

Sodium chloride

Ionic compound with the chemical formula NaCl, representing a 1:1 ratio of sodium and chloride ions.

Phase diagram of water–NaCl mixture
Mounds of road salt for use in winter
A class-D fire extinguisher for various metals
Sodium chloride crystal under microscope.
NaCl octahedra. The yellow stipples represent the electrostatic force between the ions of opposite charge
Modern rock salt mine near Mount Morris, New York, United States
Jordanian and Israeli salt evaporation ponds at the south end of the Dead Sea.
Mounds of salt, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

This same basic structure is found in many other compounds and is commonly known as the halite or rock-salt crystal structure.

Sedimentary rock

Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic particles at Earth's surface, followed by cementation.

Middle Triassic marginal marine sequence of siltstones (reddish layers at the cliff base) and limestones (brown rocks above), Virgin Formation, southwestern Utah, U.S.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is a large sandstone formation in Northern Territory, Australia.
Claystone deposited in Glacial Lake Missoula, Montana, United States. Note the very fine and flat bedding, common for deposits coming from lake beds further away from the source of sediment.
Sedimentary rock with sandstone in Malta
Lower Antelope Canyon was carved out of the surrounding sandstone by both mechanical weathering and chemical weathering. Wind, sand, and water from flash flooding are the primary weathering agents.
Outcrop of Ordovician oil shale (kukersite), northern Estonia
Fossils of Nerinea marine gastropods of Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) age, in limestone in Lebanon
Cross-bedding and scour in a fine sandstone; the Logan Formation (Mississippian) of Jackson County, Ohio
Pressure solution at work in a clastic rock. While material dissolves at places where grains are in contact, that material may recrystallize from the solution and act as cement in open pore spaces. As a result, there is a net flow of material from areas under high stress to those under low stress, producing a sedimentary rock that is harder and more compact. Loose sand can become sandstone in this way.
A piece of a banded iron formation, a type of rock that consists of alternating layers with iron(III) oxide (red) and iron(II) oxide (grey). BIFs were mostly formed during the Precambrian, when the atmosphere was not yet rich in oxygen. Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa
Diagram showing well-sorted (left) and poorly sorted (right) grains
Diagram showing the rounding and sphericity of grains
Global collage of sand samples. There is one square centimeter of sand on every sample photo. Sand samples row by row from left to right: 1. Glass sand from Kauai, Hawaii 2. Dune sand from the Gobi Desert 3. Quartz sand with green glauconite from Estonia 4. Volcanic sand with reddish weathered basalt from Maui, Hawaii 5. Biogenic coral sand from Molokai, Hawaii 6. Coral pink sand dunes from Utah 7. Volcanic glass sand from California 8. Garnet sand from Emerald Creek, Idaho 9. Olivine sand from Papakolea, Hawaii.
Fossil-rich layers in a sedimentary rock, Año Nuevo State Reserve, California
Burrows in a turbidite, made by crustaceans, San Vincente Formation (early Eocene) of the Ainsa Basin, southern foreland of the Pyrenees
Cross-bedding in a fluviatile sandstone, Middle Old Red Sandstone (Devonian) on Bressay, Shetland Islands
Flute casts, a type of sole marking on the base of a vertical layer of Triassic sandstone in Spain
Ripple marks formed by a current in a sandstone that was later tilted (Haßberge, Bavaria)
Halite crystal mold in dolomite, Paadla Formation (Silurian), Saaremaa, Estonia
Chert concretions in chalk, Middle Lefkara Formation (upper Paleocene to middle Eocene), Cyprus
Common types of depositional environments
The swirls of tan, green, blue, and white are sediment in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico off the Yucatan Peninsula. The blue-green cloud in this image roughly matches the extent of the shallow continental shelf west of the peninsula. This is a perfect example of a shallow marine depositional environment.
Shifting sedimentary facies in the case of transgression (above) and regression of the sea (below)
Plate tectonics diagram showing convergence of an oceanic plate and a continental plate. Note the back-arc basin, forearc basin, and oceanic basin.
Cyclic alternation of competent and less competent beds in the Blue Lias at Lyme Regis, southern England
The Permian through Jurassic stratigraphy of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah that makes up much of the famous prominent rock formations in protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park. From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone, layered red Kayenta Formation, cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone, slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation, layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation, and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone. Picture from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.
Distribution of detritus
Sedimentary rocks on Mars, investigated by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover
Steeply dipping sedimentary rock strata along the Chalous Road in northern Iran
Stratified remains of Puʻu Mahana cinder cone.
A regressive facies shown on a stratigraphic column

Common chemical sedimentary rocks include oolitic limestone and rocks composed of evaporite minerals, such as halite (rock salt), sylvite, baryte and gypsum.