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Keywords:

  • Bedded salt;
  • bromide;
  • domal salt;
  • halite types;
  • rock salt;
  • salt migration;
  • Southern Permian Basin;
  • Stassfurt Formation

Abstract

The bromide profile of the bedded Zechstein 2 rock salts in the Southern Permian Basin is characterized by a continuous increase in the bromide contents from base to top, indicating progressive evaporation of sea water. Former studies have suggested that the bromide distribution in domal salts is more irregular, raising such questions as whether there is a causal relationship between bromide distribution and deformation-related processes or whether various halite types with different primary bromide contents account for such irregularities. In this study, the bromide distribution of a defined stratigraphic section (Hauptsalz) of the Zechstein 2 was investigated in three salt deposits, with bedded salt (Teutschenthal) compared with domal salts (Morsleben and Gorleben). Furthermore, two different halite types (Kristallbrocken, matrix) were distinguished during sampling. Comparison between the locations reveals that: (i) the characteristic trend of the bromide profile was generally preserved in both the bedded and the more intensely deformed domal salts; (ii) the dispersion of bromide contents along the running average curve is lower in domal salt, especially in the lower half of the Hauptsalz; and (iii) the Kristallbrocken are absent in the lower half of the Hauptsalz of Morsleben and Gorleben. The absence of the Kristallbrocken and the lower dispersion of the bromide contents in the domal salts are clear indications for the influence of salt migration-related processes on the bromide distribution characteristics. It shows that these processes are associated with a redistribution of bromide, which eventually results in a homogenization of the originally varying bromide contents. On the other hand, preservation of the characteristic trend in the bromide profiles indicates that large-scale brecciation, folding processes or circulating bromide-rich fluids played only a minor role during the formation of the salt domes. Selective sampling of the Kristallbrocken and matrix halite displays a disparity in bromide content that is not consistent between the studied locations. These specific phenomena might be related to different depositional locations in the Zechstein Basin or to post-depositional processes.