Evidence of high-temperature rock salt transformations in areas of occurrence of borate minerals (Zechstein, Kłodawa salt dome, Poland)

Tomasz Tadeusz Toboła, Jacek Wachowiak


Occurrences of borate minerals in the Zechstein salt-bearing deposits of the Kłodawa salt dome (central Poland), and the manner of their development, suggest that the minerals were formed at high temperatures, that considerably exceed the temperature estimated from the thermal gradient (~180°C). Research on rock salt and potassium-magnesium salts containing congolite and boracite, respectively, are consistent with high-temperature processes of transformations affecting the salt rocks in certain sections of the salt dome. The chemical composition of, and daughter minerals occurring in, primary fluid inclusions in halite, originating from the congolite zone, indicated a very high proportion of potassium and magnesium in the brines from which the halite crystallised. The thermal transformations observed in inclusions indicate a halite crystallisation temperature exceeding 420°C. Anhydrite crystals, co-occurring with borate minerals, represent unique features as to the distribution and composition of solid and fluid inclusions. These features indicate crystallisation or recrystallisation in conditions that differed considerably from those typical of the salt dome, with the involvement of solutions of changing chemical compositions. The crystals contain multiple solid inclusions of transparent and non-transparent minerals, among which we have focused on carnallite. The relationships of carnallite with liquid and gaseous phases indicate, as in the congolite zone, migration of very highly concentrated brines with respect to potassium and magnesium, or even transport of carnallite in the form of melt (liquid). Measurements of fluid inclusion homogenization temperatures, within the range from 197.8 to 473.8°C, supported a high-temperature origin for these minerals in hydrothermal conditions.


Zechstein; salt deposit; hydrothermal conditions; borates; fluid inclusions

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