Abstract

The study area is an active sabkha composed essentially of quartz sand. Its surface is covered extensively by blue-green algal mats. The geochemistry of the subsurface waters was determined at each site from two wells (1.8 m and 3.8 m deep) and from a shallow trench dug to intersect the water table. The conclusions of this study are 1) the subsurface brine is a sodium chloride solution of continental and marine origin; 2) recharge of the marine water is through the process of flood recharge during which Laguna Madre waters are driven across the surface of the sabkha by high winds; 3) recharge of the continental waters is apparently by ground-water movement to the coast; and 4) the brine evolves chemically during evaporitic concentration by the precipitation of calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate minerals.--Modified journal abstract.

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