Barite is common in Kansas but is not found in large quantities. It occurs as flat, tabular crystals, either alone or in groups, and also occurs in granular or earthy forms. Barite resembles gypsum and calcite, but it is heavier with a higher density. In Kansas, it is found in some Pennsylvanian and Permian limestones in the east and some Cretaceous rocks in the west. Rose-shaped concretions called barite roses that formed when sand was incorporated or encrusted on barite crystals can be found in sandstone near the Horsethief Canyon area of Kanopolis State Park in Ellsworth County.

Chemical composition: barium sulfate
Formula: BaSO4 (Ba = barium, S = sulfur, O = oxygen
Color: usually colorless or white but may be light shades of blue, yellow, or red
Luster: glassy
Hardness: 3–3.5
Specific gravity: 4.3–5
Amount of transparency: transparent to opaque


Kansas Rocks and Minerals, Kansas Geological Survey Educational Series 2