Halite

color photo of halite sample

Hardness: 2.5

Halite, common table salt, is composed of sodium chloride. Most of its crystals are transparent, colorless cubes, but various impurities in the salt may give halite a brilliant red, blue, or yellow color. Normally halite has three good cleavages at right angles to each other, so broken fragments also may be very nearly cube-shaped. Halite is easy to identify because it has a salty taste and because it dissolves rapidly in water.

Read more about halite and huge salt deposits in Rocks and Minerals in the Wellington-McPherson Lowlands.

small drawing of Kansas map with Reno County highlighted in red

The sample pictured above is from Reno County, Kansas

Sources

Buchanan, Rex C., Tolsted, Laura L., and Swineford, Ada, 1986, Kansas Rocks and Minerals: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 2, 60 p.

Klein, Cornelis, 1993, Manual of Mineralogy (after James D. Dana), 21st Edition: New York, Wiley, 681 p.

Unless noted otherwise, illustrations by Jennifer Sims, Kansas Geological Survey; photographs by John Charlton, Kansas Geological Survey; text by Liz Brosius, Kansas Geological Survey.

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