Brines and Evaporites by Peter Sonnenfeld

By Peter Sonnenfeld

About The Product

Published through the yankee Geophysical Union as a part of the Short classes in Geology Series.

This direction is designed to offer basic options and constraints of evaporitic mineral precipitation in several depositional environments, a dialogue of the focus of attendant accent accumulations of clastics, base metals and hydrocarbons, an built-in evaluation of epigenetic alteration of evaporite deposits, and a scientific research of historical evaporite basin configurations.

These notes current case histories of present evaporite deposition within the desire that they are going to give you the keys to a greater realizing of old salt basins.

The facts offered the following basically depend upon basins studied via the writer and his coworkers. even supposing this selection might sound a bit constrained to a couple readers acquainted with classical types, the examples proven the following conceal the most present-day geological settings. additionally, observations on pre-evaporitic deposits have been additionally brought.

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In all three localities there is a lack of carbonates and sulfatesof either calciumor magnesium. Anaerobicbacteriamust have consumed all sulfate and carbonate ions. Tachyhydrite precipitation requires a brine concentrated to 310 times that of seawater, a relative humidity of less than 35%, and thus can be achievedonly in continentalinteriors connectedby a long, narrow and convolute channel through other, less concentratedsubsidiarybasins to a distant ocean. The channeland subsidiarybasinshad to be deepenoughthat photosynthesizers could not settle at the bottom to foster either gypsumor limestoneaccretionand thus deplete the calcium supply.

The critical concentration of hydrogen sulfide depends on the temperature of the brine; a zonation of the metals occurs because this critical concentration is different for each metal and becausethe distance of migration is inversely related to the solubilities of the metals. Brines derived from the leaching of older salts are free of base metals, presumably because these have been mobilized earlier. Commercial and subcommerciallead and zinc depositshave frequently been found in reefal buildups on the margins of ancient evaporite basins.

Br/CI ratios differ from ocean to marginal seas, from basin margin to basin center, from shallower to deeper parts. Bromine is depleted in redissolution or plastic deformation, but surrounding chlorides of lesser solubility can absorb it. It is enhanced by the release from flocculating clays, upon decay of algal matter and soil bacteria, when highly hydrated magnesiumchloride complexesare stripped of their water molecules, or where percolating bromine-enriched waters can enter. The Br/CI ratio can be useful for interpreting ancient basin depths, brine temperature, or vertical and lateral brine concentration gradients in an undisturbed basin; it cannot be used, whenever there is evidence of any epigenetic brine percolation.

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