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Book Chapter

Evaporite Basin Analysis

By
P. Sonnenfeld
P. Sonnenfeld
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

To concentrate brines, annual evaporation rates must exceed rates of atmospheric precipitation. As the water deficit increases, the freshwater supply (atmospheric precipitation, river and groundwater discharge) declines. This condition can occur both in intracontinental and in paralic basins. Leaves, pine cones, fern pinnules, and tree trunks, found well preserved in halites, indicate an at least discontinuous vegetation cover even near major marine evaporite basins, and thus an annually variable rainfall with occasional flash floods, but not an extremely arid climate.

More evaporation from the oceans in warm periods of earth's history caused copious rains over wider areas and a spread of humid conditions, resulting in less evaporite deposition. In cooler periods, decreased solar radiation reduced evaporation and also imparted less energy to atmosphere and oceans, expanding the whorl of subtropical anticyclonic circulation. Therefore cooler periods coincided with a widening of the subtropical dry belt and high rates of evaporite accumulation. In addition, winds blowing out to sea from a chilled land surface maximize evaporation losses. However, in the last ice age, the aridity maxima lagged slightly behind the maxima in glaciation.

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Contents

Reviews in Economic Geology

Sedimentary and Diagenetic Mineral Deposits: A Basin Analysis Approach to Exploration

Eric R. Force
Eric R. Force
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J. James Eidel
J. James Eidel
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J. Barry Maynard
J. Barry Maynard
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
5
ISBN electronic:
9781629490120
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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