Abstract

Well-crystallized anhydrite nucleates and grows readily at temperatures and salinities resembling those in hot, arid regions, provided that certain types of macromolecular organic compounds are also present. In experiments utilizing two different crystal-growth techniques at 60 °C and 50‰ NaCl, small amounts of polymaleic acid, polyacrylic acid, and a phosphate ester induced crystallization of well-formed anhydrite laths 0.5 to 2 μm in size. This anhydrite apparently precipitated through primary nucleation rather than through secondary nucleation in the presence of gypsum or bassanite precursors.

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