The Wilkins Peak Member of the Eocene Green River Formation of southwestern Wyoming contains a series of halite-trona beds deposited in ancestral Lake Gosiute. X-ray fluorescence analysis of 311) salt samples from 10 core holes revealed bromine contents ranging from 11 to 174 ppm. The average concentration, corrected to 100 percent sodium chloride, is approximately 80 ppm. The bromine content of most halite beds increases from the base upward. Variations or 'spikes' in the bromine profile and reversals of the upward increase in bromine are evidenced within several salt beds. Bromine of bed 10 salt zones exhibits a high degree of correlation laterally. No increase in bromine concentration for correlated salt zones was noted from the basin margins to the depositional center in the northeastern part of the study area. A great disparity in salt thickness from the depositional center to the margins suggests stratified lake conditions in which denser, sodium-chloride-saturated bottom brines did not extend to the margins during part of the depositional history of bed 10.
Paleosalinity trends of Lake Gosiute determined from the bromine distribution include the following: (1) chemically stratified lake conditions with dense, highly saline bottom waters and a fresher water zone above during much of the depositional history of the halites, (2) gradual evaporation of lake waters in a closed basin with resultant upward increase in salinity for most intervals studied, and (3) absence of lateral lake-bottom salinity gradients or postdepositional salt alteration as determined by the lateral constancy of bromine concentrations for correlated bed 10 halite.
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Distribution of bromine in bedded halite in the Green River Formation, southwestern Wyoming