Geology and resources of salt deposits in Poland: the state of the art

Grzegorz Czapowski, Krzysztof Bukowski

Abstract


Rock salt occurs in Poland (Central Europe) in two salt-bearing formations of upper Permian (Zechstein) and Neogene (Middle Miocene, Badenian Stage) age, while potash salts are only of Permian age. The total resources of rock salt are >>gt; 106 ´ 109 Mg, predominantly from the Zechstein (> 81 * 109 Mg of anticipated economic resources in 15 documented salt deposits of both stratiform and diapir types). They are now exploited in two underground salt mines and two solution mines that produced in 2008 over 3 ´ 106 Mg of rock salt, mainly from the diapirs. The most perspective future management of these rock salt deposits are as safe underground cavern stores for oil and gas (currently two of these exist, and one is in progress) and depositories. The Badenian deposits (stratiform and stratiform-folded), exploited in the past millennium, occur in a limited area of Southern Poland and are now only of historical-touristic value. Potash salts, quite common within the Zechstein evaporite complexes, are documented in a single salt diapir in Central Poland (resources of over 72 * 106 Mg, with minimal and accidental exploitation of carnallite and kieserite) and in sulfate horizons accompanying the rock salt in Northern Poland (four deposits of polyhalite with resources of ca. 0.67 * 109 Mg). Because of low market prices of potash products offered by neighbouring countries the future management of national potash salt resources seems to be non-economic.

Keywords


Poland; Badenian; Zechstein; salt deposits

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