Bedded deposit

A bedded deposit as the name itself suggests, is formed as rock salt beds. In contrast to the lump deposit, the salt is arranged in layers which are separated with interlayers of gangue. The deposit consists of strongly deformed, folded layers with thickness ranging from 2 to 50 m.

The deposit starts with a bed of the oldest salts above which a layer of sandstone and mudstone, so-called subsalt, with bars of claystones and conglomerates is located. It is characterised by substantial variability in the size of halite crystals and in terms of thickness – from 2 to 20 m and it also occurs in the form of separate blocks. This bed features high 90-95 % sodium chloride content. It is also characteristic due to its crystals strongly distorted under the pressure of overlaying layers. They are strongly flattened and they display a linear arrangement.

Kopalnia Soli "Wieliczka"Next, the profile features four beds of bedded green salts which are separated by interlayers of mudstone and anhydrite gangue. It is mega-crystalline salt with clearly visible internal structure of crystals. The thickness of this salt complex reaches 12 m while the average halite content amounts to c. 85%.

Above the bedded green salt, there is a bed of fore-shaft salt. It is characterised by exceptional purity. Its halite content is ca 99%. It has a form of a layer with almost constant thickness of ca 2 m and it stretches within the entire bedded deposit. The fore-shaft salt is honey grey in colour. It was discovered back in the first half of the 16th century. It contains admixtures of bitumens giving it the characteristic smell of hydrocarbons in crumbs freshly-hewn from a sidewall.

Bronze salts are the most common type of rock salt in the bedded part of the deposit. They are formed as layers with thickness reaching even 30 m. They are separated with interlayers of gangue, the biggest of which, centrally located, is ca 2-3 m thick. Individual beds of this salt are very diverse, contaminated with sand, silt, and claystone. Very pure intermediate layers of eagle salt are an exception. This salt was dispatched directly to Wawel to the king. Since then it has borne the name of eagle salt for it was transported in barrels featuring the emblem of the Kingdom of Poland.

Bronze salts heavily contaminated with sand miners call makowica whereas already prominent sandstones with salt binder are known as smulec.

Światowe dziedzictwo


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