/bair"uyt, bar"-/, n.a common mineral, barium sulfate, BaSO4, occurring in white, yellow, or colorless tabular crystals: the principal ore of barium.[1780-90; BAR(YTES) + -ITE1]
* * *Most common barium mineral, barium sulfate (BaSO4).It commonly forms as platy crystals (known as crested barite). Barite is abundant in parts of Spain, Germany, and the U.S. Commercially, ground barite is used in oil well and gas well drilling muds; in the preparation of barium compounds; as a filler for paper, cloth, and phonograph records; as a white pigment; and as an inert material in coloured paints.Sample of crested barite from MissouriJoseph and Helen Guetterman collection; photograph, John H. Gerard
* * *▪ mineralalso called Barytes, or Heavy Spar,the most common barium mineral, barium sulfate (BaSO4). Barite occurs in hydrothermal ore veins (particularly those containing lead and silver), in sedimentary rocks such as limestone, in clay deposits formed by the weathering of limestone, in marine deposits, and in cavities in igneous rock. It commonly forms as large tubular crystals, as rosettelike aggregates of those crystals, or as divergent plates known as crested barite. It is abundant in Castile and Andalusia, Spain; in North Rhine–Westphalia, Ger.; and at various localities in the southern Appalachian and central states and in California in the United States. Commercially, ground barite is used in oil well and gas well drilling muds; in the preparation of barium compounds; as a body, or filler, for paper, cloth, and phonograph records; as a white pigment (see lithopone); and as an inert body in coloured paints. It forms a solid solution series with celestine, in which strontium replaces barium. For detailed physical properties, see sulfate mineral (table).
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