Excess helium and argon of radiogenic origin in Mediterranean brine basins

Winckler, G., Suess, Erwin, Wallmann, Klaus, de Lange, G., Westbrook, G. K. and Bayer, R. (1997) Excess helium and argon of radiogenic origin in Mediterranean brine basins Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 151 . pp. 225-231. DOI 10.1016/S0012-821X(97)81850-X.

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Extraordinary helium and argon signatures were observed in a recently discovered brine lake district in the eastern Mediterranean Sea at water depths of ∼ 3500 m. In the Urania Basin 4He concentrations are enriched by a factor of up to 32000 compared to normal seawater. Low 3He/4He ratios of 1 × 10−7 and high 40Ar/36Ar ratios of up to 470 indicate a radiogenic source. These data represent by far the highest radiogenic supersaturations ever observed in an oceanic environment.
We propose a new conceptional model assuming that the Urania Basin is fed by advective transport from a deep fluid reservoir below the Messinian evaporite sequence. The evaporite seal provides the unique condition for accumulating the extraordinary high amounts of radiogenic helium from deep sedimentary strata. Injection of radiogenic helium from brine pools like the Urania Basin may contribute significantly to the inventory of terrigenic helium in the deep waters of the eastern Mediterranean.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: He-4; He-3/He-4; Ar-40/Ar-36; Mediterranean Sea; Messinian; evaporites
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0012-821X(97)81850-X
ISSN: 0012-821X
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 14:04
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/7559

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