Evaporation of Seawater: Calculated Mineral Sequences

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4443, pp. 498-500
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4443.498


Van't Hoff's predictions of the mineral sequences to be expected on the evaporation of seawater are based on an oversimplified system. New computer calculation that include calcium-bearing phases are in better agreement with natural occurrences, removing discrepancies that have plagued evaporite geologists for nearly a century. A new hydrologic model that combines equilibrium batch evaporation with fractionation between successive batches is proposed to account for the mineral sequences observed in such classic deposits as the German Zechstein.