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Title: The Circulation of the Dead Sea Brine in the Regional Aquifer

Ca-chloride brines have circulated between the lakes and the adjacent aquifers throughout the history of the Dead Sea lacustrine-hydrology system. The Ein-Qedem (EQ) hydrothermal saline springs system discharging at the western shores of the modern Dead Sea is the modern manifestation of this essential and continuous process. The EQ springs comprise the most significant source of Ca-chloride brine that currently discharges into the lake. The chemical composition of EQ brine has remained virtually uniform during the past ca. 40 yr, indicating that the brine represents a large groundwater reservoir. The EQ brine evolved from ancient Ca-chloride brine that occupied the tectonic depression of the Dead Sea Basin during the Quaternary. During this period, the composition of lake's brine was affected by mixing with freshwater and formation of primary minerals. Based on chronological and geochemical data, we argue that the EQ brine comprises the epilimnetic solution of last glacial Lake Lisan that penetrated and circulated through the adjacent Judea Group aquifer. C-14 and Kr-81 dating indicates recharge ages spanning the time interval of similar to 40-20 ka, coinciding with the period when the lake reached its highest stand (of similar to 200 +/- 30 m below msl, at similar to 31-17.4more » ka) and maintained a stable layered (stratified) configuration for a period of several ten thousand years. The presented evidence suggests that the circulation of the Ca-chloride brine involves penetration into the aquifer during high stands (EQ brine recharge) and its discharge back into the lake during the modern low stands (similar to 400 to 430 m below msl). Accordingly, the mechanism of brine circulation between the lake and the marginal aquifers is related to the long-term hydro-climate history of the Dead Sea basin and its vicinity. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.« less
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Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 493
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Geological Survey of Israel (GSI); United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF); Israel Science Foundation (ISF); German Research Foundation (DFG)
Country of Publication:
United States
Ca-chloride brine; Dead Sea; Lake Lisan; groundwater circulation; groundwater dating; paleo-hydrology
OSTI Identifier: