The compositions of pore fluids in granite cores from the Precambrian basement in northern Illinois were determined. The estimated chloride concentration in the aqueous phase increases from near zero at the upper contact with sandstone to 2.7 M at 624 m below the contact. Traces of aliphatic oil are present in the overlying sandstone and the upper 516 m of granite, and oil occupies most of the pore space in one sample of unaltered granite 176 m below the contact. The oil has a δ13C of −25‰, about the same as average petroleum.
The high concentrations of salt more than 500 m below the contact imply that little or no fresh water has reached these levels of the granite by flow. Lower concentrations near the contact are consistent with replacement of brine in the sandstone by fresh water at least 11 m.y. ago and subsequent upward diffusion of salt from the granite. Geologic data suggest that the time of replacement was about 130 Ma.