In marine sediments, barite occurs as prismatic, euhedral to angular, fractured, anhedral crystals and crystallites (Figs 11 and 12). It also occurs as sharply angular cleavage fragments, microcrystalline aggregates and more rarely as delicate fans and double-ended feathery ‘dumb-bells’. Crystals are often flattened on {001} and these are easily distinguished from drilling mud which is quite anhedral. (Barite is used in oil and gas well drilling as ‘heavy mud’ to support drill rods and to prevent gas blow-outs.) Detrital barite is rare in marine sediments.


Marine Sediment Middle Miocene Barium Sulphate Hydrothermal Origin Anhedral Crystal 
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Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Rothwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Oceanographic SciencesGodalmingUK

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