The origin of three Red Sea submarine brine pools was investigated by analysis of the S and O isotope ratios of dissolved sulfate and Sr isotope ratios of dissolved Sr in the brines. Sulfur and O isotope ratios of sulfate and Sr isotope ratios of evaporitic source rocks for the brines were measured for comparison. The S, O and Sr isotope ratios of evaporites recovered from DSDP site 227 are consistent with an upper Miocene evaporites age. The Valdivia Deep brine formed by karstic dissolution of Miocene evaporites by overlying seawater and shows no signs of hydrothermal input. The Suakin Deep brines are derived from, or have isotopically exchanged with Miocene or older evaporites. There has been only minor dilution of the brine by overlying seawater. Strontium isotope ratios of Suakin brine may indicate addition of a minor (15%) amount of volcanic Sr to the brine, but there is no evidence of high temperature brine-rock interaction. The sulfate in the Atlantis II brine was apparently derived from seawater. The O isotope ratio of sulfate in the present Atlantis II brine could reflect isotopic exchange between seawater sulfate and the brine at approximately 255??C. Approximately 30% of the Sr in the Atlantis II brine is derived from the underlying basalt, probably by hydrothermal leaching. Atlantis II brine is the only known example from the Red Sea which has a significant high-temperature hydrothermal history. ?? 1986.
Additional publication details
Isotopic constraints on the origin of the Atlantis II, Suakin and Valdivia brines, Red Sea