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Halite (sodium chloride)


A mineral composed of Sodium chloride that naturally occurs as colorless, cubic crystals. Halite is found in dry lakebeds, in underground salt deposits and near the ocean. Large deposits occur in Germany, Austria, Russia, France (Dax), India (Punjab), Canada (Ontario), and the U.S. (New York, Michigan, Kansas, California). It is often mined then ground for use as common table salt. Large, unground crystals are sold as rock salt. Rock salt is used to melt ice, as a food preservative, and for the production of soda ash by the glass industry.



Synonyms and Related Terms

sodium chloride; rock salt; sea salt; evaporite; halita (Esp.); halite (Port.); Halit, Steinsalz (Deut.); haliet (Ned.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in water.
  • Fluorescent.
  • Salty taste.
  • Transparent.
  • Fracture = conchoidal.
  • Streak = white.
  • Luster = vitreous.
  • Isometric, cubic crystals.
  • Perfect cleavage in three directions with 90 degree angles.
Composition NaCl
CAS 7647-14-5
Mohs Hardness 2.0 - 2.5
Density 2.4-2.6 g/ml
Molecular Weight 58.44
Refractive Index 1.544

Resources and Citations

  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Caring for your Collections, Arthur W Schulz (ed.), Harry N. Abrams, Inc. , New York, 1992
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8742