Stable chlorine isotopes in saline springs from the Nangqen basin, Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: Brine genesis and evolution

  • Ji-Long HanEmail author
  • Syed-Asim Hussain
  • Feng-Qing Han


Chlorine isotopes can be used to study the evolution of different fluids, sources and the causes of various related deposits. In this study, Cl concentrations and chlorine isotope (δ37Cl, IAEA ISL-354 NaCl standard) values were determined for brine samples from Nangqen basin, located on the southern boundary of the Qinghai–Tibet plateau to study the source and the processes of these saline springs. The results demonstrated that the saline springs are distributed around a fault or fault zone, with a high average salinity of 228.30 g/l and flow rates ranging from 1.7 to 0.01 l/s. Na+ and Cl are the predominant cations and anions, respectively, accounting for more than 90% of the total. The δ37Cl values range from −1.55‰ to +0.97‰, and the Cl/Br ratios are from 1739 to 175,260. Coupled with the previous H, O and B isotope compositions (δD, VSMOW2 standard, ranges from −100.91‰ to −132.98‰, δ18O, VSMOW2 standard, from −12.88‰ to −16.05‰ and δ11B, NIST 951 standard, from +3.55‰ to +29.59‰), it can be interpreted that the saline springs are mainly the result of the dissolution of halite hosted in mudstone and volcanic country rocks.


δ37Cl brine genesis saline springs Nangqen basin 



The authors are thankful to Dr Ma Yunqi, Associate Research Fellow, for providing valuable suggestions and the help during the laboratory experiments. This research was supported by the science and technology project of the Qinghai province (grant no. 2014-ZJ-702).


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Comprehensive and Highly Efficient Utilization of Salt Lake Resources, Qinghai Institute of Salt LakesChinese Academy of SciencesXiningPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Qinghai Provincial Key Laboratory of Geology and Environment of Salt Lakes, Qinghai Institute of Salt LakesChinese Academy of SciencesXiningPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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