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Variations in salt-grain size, structure, and distribution; banding; insoluble composition and distribution; hydrocarbon content; and primary structures are significant in the interpretation of the environment of salt deposition. In the Hutchinson salt (Permian) of Kansas, ripple marks, large-scale polygons, minor unconformities, and composition indicate deposition in a basin of shallow depth with periodic subaerial exposure of at least the marginal portions of the basin.

Fundamentally different viewpoints exist concerning the relative importance of primary precipitation, descendent processes, and secondary transformations in the development of the German potash deposits. Classification of the geochemical possibilities for combination and exchange of elements in oceanic salt deposits has led to a method whereby processes of salt formation can be deduced by comparing the theoretical and observed distributions of specific elements in salt deposits. Some fundamental problems arise concerning the quantitative treatment of elements diadochally incorporated in salts, either during evaporation or secondary transformation; the primary formation of a carnallite rock of the Flöze Stassfurt type affords a good example. The bromine diadochally incorporated in halides is the best guide element for treating problems dealing with the formation of salt deposits; with the aid of bromine and other elements, the enrichment of an uncombined element can be reconstructed during the stages of formation of a salt deposit.

Analytical data, both from the literature and from original investigations, have been compiled and interpreted to determine the distribution of the following elements and minerals in the salt deposits of Central Europe: aluminum and koenenite, bromine, boron, carbonates, fluorine, iron, phosphate, rubidium, silica, strontium, clay minerals, and organic residues.

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