Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 182–194 | Cite as

Polyhalite occurrence in the Werra (Zechstein, upper Permian) peribaltic basin of Poland and Russia: Evaporite facies constraints

  • Tadeusz Marek Peryt
  • Hanna Tomassi-Morawiec
  • Grzegorz Czapowski
  • Sofiya P. Hryniv
  • Juan José Pueyo
  • Christoph J. Eastoe
  • Serhiy Vovnyuk


Polyhalite is a common constituent of many ancient evaporite sequences, especially Permian and Neogene ones, that is related to the Na−K−Mg−Cl−SO4 type of marine brines in those time intervals. There are four polyhalite deposits in the Zechstein of northern Poland, and more than ten polyhalite-bearing areas in the adjacent part of Russia, and they are commonly accompanied by K−Mg chlorides. Most polyhalite occurrences are related to the upper part of the Lower Werra Anhydrite and in most cases, polyhalite deposits are concentrated at the sulfate platform close to its boundary with platform slope, where they can pass horizontally into polyhalite beds occurring in the Oldest Halite. The bromine content in samples of the Oldest Halite range from 40–120 ppm and the composition of fluid inclusions in halite are characteristic of halite precipitated from seawater concentrated to the early and middle stages of halite precipitation. The δ18O and δ34S values for sulfates are 10.03‰–13.50‰ and 10.03‰–12.14‰, respectively, and the δ37Cl values for halites from −0.1‰ to +0.4‰ support their marine origin. Bromine distribution in the Oldest Halite and the occurrence of anhydrite intercalations indicate fluctuations of the brine density during the Oldest Halite deposition. The formation of polyhalite was preceded by the syndepositional dehydration of the original gypsum deposit and it appears that the anhydrite was then transformed to polyhalite by reaction with marine brines more evolved than those from which precipitated precursor calcium sulfate minerals. These concentrated brines could have been derived from the evaporation of marine brines and/or inflow of K- and Mg-rich brines that were formed in nearby shallow salt pans occurring in sulfate platform areas and thus sulfate platform areas and adjacent slopes of those platforms were predestined for polyhalite formation.


Fluid Inclusion Halite Anhydrite Evaporite Lithofacies 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadeusz Marek Peryt
    • 1
  • Hanna Tomassi-Morawiec
    • 1
  • Grzegorz Czapowski
    • 1
  • Sofiya P. Hryniv
    • 2
  • Juan José Pueyo
    • 3
  • Christoph J. Eastoe
    • 4
  • Serhiy Vovnyuk
    • 2
  1. 1.Państwowy Instytut GeologicznyWarszawa
  2. 2.Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Combustible MineralsNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineLvivUkraine
  3. 3.Departament de Geoquímica i PetrologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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