Abstract

Brines and salt were sampled at the Morton Bahamas solar salt production facility on Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas. The brines were analyzed by ion chromatography to define more precisely than heretofore the evaporation path of seawater to the end of the halite facies. At Inagua, calcium carbonate begins to precipitate at a brine concentration of about 1.8 times that of seawater. Gypsum begins to precipitate at a brine concentration of 3.8 times seawater, and halite at a concentration factor of 10.6. Three of the most concentrated brines from Inagua (40 times seawater) were evaporated further in the laboratory. Magnesium sulfate first precipitated at brine concentrations about 70 times those of seawater, and potassium-bearing phases began to precipitate from these brines at concentrations greater than 90 times those of seawater. The distribution coefficients of Br (super -) and K (super +) between brines and halite were determined by combining analytical data for the Inagua brines with measurements of the Br (super -) and K (super +) content of halites from Inagua and of halite which had precipitated from Inagua brines during storage. The observed average value of D (sub BR-) is 0.032, in good agreement with some of the previous measurements. The measured values of D (sub K+) are highly variable (0.001 to 0.021); D (sub K+) for halite precipitated early in the halite facies is in the vicinity of 0.015.

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