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Article

Origin and Evolution of Saline Spring Water in North and Central Laos Based on Hydrochemistry and Stable Isotopes (δD, δ18O, δ11B, and δ37Cl)

1
Department of Geological Engineering, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China
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Key Laboratory of Comprehensive and Highly Efficient Utilization of Salt Lake Resources, Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, China
3
Key Laboratory of Salt Lake Geology and Environment of Qinghai Province, Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: R.V. Krishnamurthy and Elias Dimitriou
Water 2021, 13(24), 3568; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243568
Received: 13 November 2021 / Revised: 25 November 2021 / Accepted: 8 December 2021 / Published: 13 December 2021
This paper discusses the origin and evolution of saline springs in north and central Laos, based on chemical and stable isotopes (δD, δ18O, δ11B, and δ37Cl). All the saline springs in this study are of the Na–Cl geochemical type. The geochemical and water isotope values suggest that the saline springs in this study are mainly derived from meteoric water and/or ice and snow melt from the surrounding mountains and that they also experienced strong evaporation and intense rock–water interactions. The ionic ratios, characteristic coefficients, ternary Ca–SO4–HCO3 phase diagrams, and saturation indices of minerals show that the dissolution of halite, sulfate, and carbonate rocks may be the solute sources for saline springs in this study, whereas the underground brines in the Thakhek potash mining area are geochemically influenced by the dissolution of carnallite and sylvite. The global geothermal δ11B–Cl/B relationship and δ11B values (5.50 to 36.01‰) of saline springs suggest a continental origin of B. This B is most likely derived from marine carbonate rocks and marine evaporates (gypsum and halite) of the late Cretaceous, which is similar to the saline springs of the Nangqen–Qamdo–Simao Salt Basin. The δ37Cl value (−0.12 to +0.79) and the Cl/Br ratio (4076 to 9853) show that dissolution of late cretaceous marine halite layers, atmospheric precipitation, and water–rock interactions between volcanic rocks, mudstones, and sandstone can restrict the δ37Cl values in saline springs. Results from silica geothermometry and multi–mineral equilibrium diagrams indicate that the reservoir temperatures for the saline springs range from 87–137 °C and experience deep circulation. Hydrochemical characteristic coefficients suggest that saline springs in the Muang Say basin may have leached sylvinite and carnallite and that the potash exploration prospect in this area is relatively good. View Full-Text
Keywords: saline springs; stable isotopes; recharge and solute sources; reservoir temperatures; marine evaporites; potash exploration prospect saline springs; stable isotopes; recharge and solute sources; reservoir temperatures; marine evaporites; potash exploration prospect
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MDPI and ACS Style

Qin, X.; Ma, H.; Zhang, X.; Hu, X.; Li, G.; Jiang, Z.; Cheng, H.; Han, J.; Li, Y.; Miao, W.; Han, W.; Yang, S.; Song, Q.; Lei, S.; Wang, H. Origin and Evolution of Saline Spring Water in North and Central Laos Based on Hydrochemistry and Stable Isotopes (δD, δ18O, δ11B, and δ37Cl). Water 2021, 13, 3568. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243568

AMA Style

Qin X, Ma H, Zhang X, Hu X, Li G, Jiang Z, Cheng H, Han J, Li Y, Miao W, Han W, Yang S, Song Q, Lei S, Wang H. Origin and Evolution of Saline Spring Water in North and Central Laos Based on Hydrochemistry and Stable Isotopes (δD, δ18O, δ11B, and δ37Cl). Water. 2021; 13(24):3568. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243568

Chicago/Turabian Style

Qin, Xiwei, Haizhou Ma, Xiying Zhang, Xiasong Hu, Guorong Li, Ziwen Jiang, Huaide Cheng, Jibin Han, Yongshou Li, Weiliang Miao, Wenhua Han, Sha Yang, Qian Song, Shang Lei, and Hongying Wang. 2021. "Origin and Evolution of Saline Spring Water in North and Central Laos Based on Hydrochemistry and Stable Isotopes (δD, δ18O, δ11B, and δ37Cl)" Water 13, no. 24: 3568. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243568

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