Constraints on origin and evolution of Red Sea brines from helium and argon isotopes.

Winckler, G., Aeschbach-Hertig, W., Kipfer, R., Botz, R., Rubel, A. P., Bayer, R. and Stoffers, P. (2001) Constraints on origin and evolution of Red Sea brines from helium and argon isotopes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 184 (3-4). pp. 671-683. DOI 10.1016/s0012-821x(00)00345-9.

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Brines from three depressions along the axis of the Red Sea, the Atlantis II, the Discovery and the Kebrit Deep, were sampled and analyzed for helium and argon isotopes. We identified two principally different geochemical fingerprints that reflect the geological setting of the deeps. The Atlantis II and the Discovery brines originating from locations in the central Red Sea show He-4 concentrations up to 1.2 X 10(-5) cm(3) STP g(-1) and a He-3/He-4 ratio of 1.27 x 10(-5). The MORE-like 3He/4He ratio is typical of an active hydrothermal vent system and clearly indicates a mantle origin of the helium component within the brines. Ar-40/Ar-36 ratios are as high as 305 implying that mantle-derived Ar-40 excesses Of up to 3% of the total argon concentration are present in the brines and transported along with the mantle helium signal. The mean (He-4/Ar-40)(excess) ratio of 2.1 is in agreement with the theoretical mantle production ratio. In the Kebrit Deep, located in the northern Red Sea, we found a helium excess of 5.7 x 10(-7) cm(3) STP g(-1). The low He-3/He-4 ratio of 1 x 10(-6) points to a predominantly radiogenic source of the helium excess with only a minor mantle contribution of approximately 9%. We propose a new scenario assuming that the Kebrit brine accumulates a diffusive helium flux that migrates from deeper sedimentary or crustal horizons. In contrast to the Atlantis II and Discovery Deep, the Kebrit brine shows no sign of an active hydrothermal input. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: noble gases He-3 He-4 Ar-40 hydrothermal vents brines mid-ocean ridges Red Sea rare-gas systematics atlantis-ii-deep hydrothermal fluids continental-crust earths mantle shaban deeps noble-gases ridge fluxes kebrit
Research affiliation: Kiel University
DOI etc.: 10.1016/s0012-821x(00)00345-9
ISSN: 0012-821X
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2012 07:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:01

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