High Concentrations Of Minerals Evaporation and Crystallization

November 25, 2013 by  

High Concentrations Of Minerals Evaporation and Crystallization, Evaporite is a name for a water-soluble mineral sediment that results from concentration and crystallization by evaporation from an aqueous solution. There are two types of evaporate deposits: marine, which can also be described as ocean deposits, and non-marine, which are found in standing bodies of water such as lakes. Evaporites are considered sedimentary rocks.

Although all water bodies on the surface and in aquifers contain dissolved salts, the water must evaporate into the atmosphere for the minerals to precipitate. For this to happen, the water body must enter a restricted environment where water input into this environment remains below the net rate of evaporation. This is usually an arid environment with a small basin fed by a limited input of water. When evaporation occurs, the remaining water is enriched in salts, and they precipitate when the water becomes oversaturated.

Marine evaporites tend to have thicker deposits and are usually the focus of more extensive research. The first phase of the experiment begins when about 50% of the original water depth remains. At this point, minor carbonates begin to form. However, there are approximately 80 different minerals that have been reported found in evaporite deposits (Stewart,1963;Warren,1999), though only about a dozen are common enough to be considered important rock formers.

Non-marine evaporites are usually composed of minerals that are not common in marine environments, because in general the water from which non-marine evaporite precipitates have proportions of chemical elements different from those found in the marine environments. Thick non-marine deposits that accumulate tend to form where evaporation rates will exceed the inflow rate, and where there is sufficient soluble supplies. The inflow also has to occur in a closed basin, or one with restricted outflow, so that the sediment has time to pool and form in a lake or other standing body of water. Primary examples of this are called “saline lake deposits”. Saline lakes includes things such as perennial lakes, which are lakes that are there year-round, playa lakes, which are lakes that appear only during certain seasons, or any other terms that are used to define places that hold standing bodies of water intermittently or year-round. Examples of modern non-marine depositional environments include the Great Salt Lake in Utah and the Dead Sea, which lies between Jordan and Israel.

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