A white to brownish translucent crystalline mineral occurring in evaporated salt lakes, consisting of anhydrous sodium sulfate.
- Sulphate-rich waters in bitter lakes produce mirabilite which alters on exposure to thenardite both along the margins of the lake and in its deeper parts.
- The mineral, which occurs with lyonsite and thenardite, formed as a sublimate from the volcanic gases.
- It redissolves in summer and is eventually transformed on shores in powdered thenardite, which is easily blown away by wind from the shores, as water level is lower.
Mid 19th century: from the name of Baron Louis-Jacques Thénard (1777–1857), French chemist, + -ite1.
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