Isotopic Composition and Origin of the Red Sea and Salton Sea Geothermal Brines

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Science  23 Dec 1966:
Vol. 154, Issue 3756, pp. 1544-1548
DOI: 10.1126/science.154.3756.1544


Abstract. Deuterium and oxygen-18 measurements show that the Red Sea and Salton Sea brines are the results of a single process, the leaching of sediments by surface water circulating downward to a geothermal reservoir. The Salton Sea brine is derived from local precipitation but the Red Sea brine originates 1000 kilometers south of its basin, on the shallow sill which controls the circulation of the Red Sea. On this sill sea water penetrates a thick evaporite sequence to a depth of 2000 meters, and, driven by its increased density relative to sea water, flows northward to emerge in the brine-filled deeps.

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