Brines and Interstitial Brackish Water in Drill Cores from the Deep Gulf of Mexico

Science  02 Oct 1970:
Vol. 170, Issue 3953, pp. 57-61
DOI: 10.1126/science.170.3953.57


Marked increases in interstitial salinity occur in two drill holes located in the Gulf of Mexico at a water depth of more than 3500 meters. The increases probably arose through diffusion of salt from buried evaporites. In one hole, however, brackish water was encountered on penetrating the oil-permeated cap rock of a salt dome. The phenomenon is attributed to production of fresh water during oxidation of petroleum hydrocarbons and decomposition of gypsum to form native sulfur.