Is there a simple formulation to estimate the rate of salt precipitation in a brine given its ion concentrations and the evaporation rate?

For example: if we know the concentrations of Cl, Na+, Mg2+, SO42−, Ca2+, K+ of a sea-water brine at a known temperature T, what salt(s) and how much of each will precipitate for a given evaporation rate E (assuming time enough for equilibrium)? Can you refer to a concise text-book or article?

I need something that goes beyond the simplistic saturation concentration concept (i.e., prescribed limit for diluted salt concentration). The effects of life in the solution can be dismissed.


1 Answer 1


Here is a link to a hydrochemical consultant, Dr. C.A.J. Appelo, and the public-domain software FREEQC.

It can be downloaded from here

This link leads to an example of salt precipitation rates when evaporating sea water.

The formulation used is detailed in a second manual

  • $\begingroup$ truly a helpful brief answer, thanks. I see two problems, though: 1) the code is not open source (as I understand from the site), and 2) the formulation manual is not very accessible for dummies as me. So it is impossible (for me) to reproduce their calcualtions. $\endgroup$
    – DrGC
    Jan 16, 2016 at 16:12

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