Between 1984 and 1993, MgCl2 brine was used to suppress dust on unpaved roads at a radioactive waste subsurface disposal area. Because Cl− might enhance corrosion of buried metals in the waste, we investigated the distribution and fate of Cl− in the vadose zone using pore water samples collected from suction lysimeters and soluble salt concentrations extracted from sediment samples. The Cl/Br mass ratio and the total dissolved Cl− concentration of pore water show that brine contamination occurs primarily within 13 m of treated roads, but can extend as much as 30 m laterally in near-surface sedimentary deposits. Within the deep vadose zone, which consists of interlayered basalt lava flows and sedimentary interbeds, brine has moved up to 110 m laterally. This lateral migration suggests formation of perched water and horizontal transport during periods of high recharge. In a few locations, brine migrated to depths of 67 m within 3 to 5 yr. Elevated Cl− concentrations were found to depths of 2 m in roadbed material. In drainage ditches along roads, where runoff accumulates and recharge of surface water is high, Cl− was flushed from the sediments in 3 to 4 yr. In areas of lower recharge, Cl− remained in the sediments after 5 yr. Vertical brine movement is directly related to surface recharge through sediments. The distribution of Cl− in pore water and sediments is consistent with estimates of vadose zone residence times and spatial distribution of surface water recharge from other investigations at the subsurface disposal area.