Halit (NaCl) - Kopalnia soli Wieliczka, Polska.jpg
Halite from the Wieliczka salt mine, Małopolskie, Poland
CategoryHalide mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification3.AA.20
Crystal systemCubic
Crystal classHexoctahedral (m3m)
H-M symbol: (4/m 3 2/m)
Space groupFm3m
Unit cella = 5.6404(1) Å; Z = 4
Formula mass58.433 g/mol
ColorColorless or white
Crystal habitPredominantly cubes and in massive sedimentary beds, but also granular, fibrous and compact
CleavagePerfect {001}, three directions cubic
Mohs scale hardness2.0–2.5
Specific gravity2.17
Optical propertiesIsotropic
Refractive indexn = 1.544
Other characteristicsSalty flavor, fluorescent

Halite ( t/ or t/),[4] commonly known as rock salt, is a type of salt, the mineral (natural) form of sodium chloride (NaCl). Halite forms isometric crystals.[5] The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on the amount and type of impurities. It commonly occurs with other evaporite deposit minerals such as several of the sulfates, halides, and borates. The name halite is derived from the Ancient Greek word for salt, ἅλς (háls).[1]


Halite cubes from the Stassfurt Potash deposit, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (size: 6.7 × 1.9 × 1.7 cm)

Halite occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals that result from the drying up of enclosed lakes, playas, and seas. Salt beds may be hundreds of meters thick and underlie broad areas. In the United States and Canada extensive underground beds extend from the Appalachian basin of western New York through parts of Ontario and under much of the Michigan Basin. Other deposits are in Ohio, Kansas, New Mexico, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. The Khewra salt mine is a massive deposit of halite near Islamabad, Pakistan. In the United Kingdom there are three mines; the largest of these is at Winsford in Cheshire producing on average a million tonnes per year.

Salt domes are vertical diapirs or pipe-like masses of salt that have been essentially "squeezed up" from underlying salt beds by mobilization due to the weight of overlying rock. Salt domes contain anhydrite, gypsum, and native sulfur, in addition to halite and sylvite. They are common along the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana and are often associated with petroleum deposits. Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania and Iran also have salt domes. Salt glaciers exist in arid Iran where the salt has broken through the surface at high elevation and flows downhill. In all of these cases, halite is said to be behaving in the manner of a rheid.

Unusual, purple, fibrous vein filling halite is found in France and a few other localities. Halite crystals termed hopper crystals appear to be "skeletons" of the typical cubes, with the edges present and stairstep depressions on, or rather in, each crystal face. In a rapidly crystallizing environment, the edges of the cubes simply grow faster than the centers. Halite crystals form very quickly in some rapidly evaporating lakes resulting in modern artifacts with a coating or encrustation of halite crystals.[6] Halite flowers are rare stalactites of curling fibers of halite that are found in certain arid caves of Australia's Nullarbor Plain. Halite stalactites and encrustations are also reported in the Quincy native copper mine of Hancock, Michigan.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Haliet
العربية: هاليت
asturianu: Halita
azərbaycanca: Halit
বাংলা: হ্যালাইট
беларуская: Галіт
български: Халит
català: Halita
čeština: Halit
Deutsch: Halit
eesti: Haliit
Ελληνικά: Αλίτης
español: Halita
Esperanto: Halito
euskara: Halita
فارسی: سنگ نمک
français: Halite
Gaeilge: Hailít
galego: Halita
ગુજરાતી: સિંધવ
한국어: 암염
հայերեն: Հալիտ
हिन्दी: सेंधा नमक
hrvatski: Halit
Bahasa Indonesia: Halit
íslenska: Halít
italiano: Halite
עברית: הליט
қазақша: Галит
Кыргызча: Таш туз
lietuvių: Halitas
magyar: Kősó
मराठी: सैंधव मीठ
Bahasa Melayu: Halit
Nederlands: Haliet
日本語: 岩塩
norsk: Halitt
norsk nynorsk: Halitt
occitan: Sau gemma
Plattdüütsch: Halit
polski: Halit
português: Halita
română: Sare gemă
русский: Галит
Scots: Halite
Simple English: Halite
slovenčina: Halit
slovenščina: Halit
српски / srpski: Халит
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Halit
suomi: Vuorisuola
svenska: Halit
తెలుగు: రాతి ఉప్పు
Türkçe: Kaya tuzu
українська: Галіт
Tiếng Việt: Halit
中文: 石鹽