The first mention simply came with the mention of commercial uses of evaporite deposits, as salt from the Zechstein sea is mined for industrial purposes and human consumption. Boulby mine in East Yorkshire is apparently the deepest in the UK and extends a mile out to sea.
The Zechstein basin is a saline giant, extensive marine evaporite deposits (deposited when sea water evaporates and leaves minerals) thousands of metres thick in what are known as intracratonic basins (a craton is a part of the Earth's crust that has not been split or merged). There are no modern equivalents of saline giants. Below is a picture of major Phanerozoic evaporite deposits.
Saline giants present a conundrum for geologists as evaporating sea water in the laboratory does not produce natural evaporite minerals and produces them in the wrong volumes (not enough anhydrite, too much sylvite/carnallite). Evaporating a 300m column of sea water only produces less than 5m of salt, yet in Jurassic marine deposits in America the desposits are 3500m thick, which would require the evaporation of a 240km deep marine basin!
Hopefully future lectures will reveal more about the Zechstein basin, though I suspect that I will have to apply information from other examples in order to work out more about it.