Evaporation

“An evaporite is defined as a salt rock originally precipitated from a saturated surface or near-surface brine in hydrologies driven by solar evaporation (Warren 2016).”

The greater volume of saline mineral salts in the earth’s sedimentary realm are the product of solar heating of brine. There are other sets of mineral salts in the depositional and diagenetic realm with the same mineral composition as evaporite salts, but these salts result from cryogenic, hydrothermal or burial re-equilibration processes (Warren, 2016). For a water molecule to escape into the vapour phase in an evaporitic setting, and so increase the salinity of an enduring brine body or pore water in the capillary zone of a sabkha, the water molecule must; 1) Absorb heat energy, 2) Be located near the liquid surface, 3) Be moving in the proper direction, 4) Have sufficient energy to overcome liquid-phase intermolecular forces and, 5) pass through the surface tension inter-face.

 

 

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