Mineralogy and stability of soil evaporites in North Dakota

  • Keller L
  • McCarthy G
  • Richardson J
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Abstract

The evaporite mineralogy of 106 samples of salt efflorescences (SE) collected from throughout North Dakota was detd. by x-ray powder diffraction. The mineralogies of these samples are dominated by sulfate salts of Na, Mg, and Ca. The evaporite minerals were mirabilite, thenardite, gypsum, epsomite, hexahydrite, konyaite, bloedite, burkeite, and tychite. Konyaite is the most frequently and widely occurring mineral identified. The SE dominated by Na and Mg sulfate minerals account for >90% of the obsd. mineralogies. The mineral assemblages dominated by Na2SO4 minerals were evenly distributed across the state. The MgSO4-rich SE were confined to the glaciated part of the state. Many of the obsd. minerals are labile with respect to temp. and water vapor pressure. Dissocn. vapor pressure curves from the literature are used to describe the field stability relations of epsomite/hexahydrite and mirabilite/thenardite.

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  • soil salt efflorescence North Dakota

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Authors

  • L P Keller

  • G J McCarthy

  • J L Richardson

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