Halite oolites and ripples in the Dead Sea, Israel



Clastic features in recent halite deposits are observed along the beaches of an artificially dammed part of the Dead Sea. These features include halite oolites (termed halolites in this paper) and ripples.

Halite precipitates initially either at the brine surface or on the floor. It is suggested that moderate increase of wave agitation shifts the balance towards brine-surface crystallization, and keeps the growing halite grains in constant motion. In this way rippled structures are formed. A further increase of wave energy leads to the growth of coated halite grains.

The accumulation of the various halite grains along the beach, to form soft rippled floor and oolitic beach ridge is brought about during shoreward winds.

During calm periods the bulk of the halite crystallizes directly on the floor. It develops into a hard crust which assumes the morphology of the substrate, including the ripple forms.