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.
The sample pictured above is from Reno County, Kansas
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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