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.
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Brines and interstitial brackish water in drill cores from the deep gulf of Mexico