Boron isotope variations during fractional evaporation of sea water: new constraints on the marine vs. nonmarine debate

Journal Article

Examination of boron isotopes, elemental B, Br, and Li in brines, and coprecipitated salts during fractional evaporation of sea water shows that Br, Li, and B in the evaporated sea water have lower concentrations than expected, as determined from mass-balance calculations. The deficiency is found beyond a degree of evaporation of ~30 and is associated with a gradual increase in the δ11B values of the evaporated sea water, from 39‰ to 54.7‰. The boron isotope composition of sea water (δ11B = 39‰) is significantly higher than that of continental water (δ11B = -3‰ ± 5‰). Salt deposits may be depleted in 11B by 20‰ to 30‰ relative to their parent brines. These variations suggest that boron isotopes can be used to determine the origin (marine vs. nonmarine) of brines and ancient evaporitic environments. -from Authors

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vengosh, A; Starinsky, A; Kolodny, Y; Chivas, AR; Raab, M

Published Date

  • 1992

Published In

  • Geology

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 799 - 802