Kainite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Sulfates, chromates, molybdates
    Subclass : Hydrated sulfates
    Crystal system : Monoclinic
    Chemistry : KMg(SO4)Cl 3H2O
    Rarity : Rare


Kainite is a hydrated sulfate present in marine potassic evaporitic layers, where it notably accompanies sylvite, carnallite and langbeinite. Its genesis often appears to result from a slight metamorphism of these salt formations. It takes its name from the Greek kainos (new), in reference to its secondary origin. Kainite is a mineral that usually occurs in grainy masses but can also form tabular crystals several centimeters thick. Kainite is normally colorless but is frequently colored gray, yellowish, brownish or purplish by mineral inclusions of different types. It is a source of potassium and magnesium, but very secondary given its rarity.

Main photo : Kainite from Hannover, Germany © Rob Lavinsky

Kainite in the World

Kainite is a rare mineral, especially present in deposits exploiting the powerful salt layers of the Permian of Germany (Stassfurt) and Poland (Kalusz), as well as in the salt deposits of Carlsbad and its surroundings (New Mexico). It is more rarely encountered in volcanic fumaroles (Italy, Kanchatka) and in salt lakes (Kazakhstan).

Kainite in France

Kainite is not present in the French underground.

Twinning

No twin known for this mineral species.

Fakes and treatments

No fakes recorded for this mineral species.



Hardness : 2.5 to 3
Density : 2.15
Fracture : Irregular
Streak : White


TP : Transparent
RI : 1.494 to 1.516
Birefringence : 0.022
Optical character : Biaxial -
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None


Solubility : Water

Magnetism : NoneRadioactivity : None

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