Hydrogeochemistry and evaporitic sedimentation models in shallow saline lakes. Lucio V. Mansilla, Salinas Grandes, Córdoba. Argentina

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Marcelo Dargam
Javier Elortegui Palacios


This paper reports the hydrochemical evolution of brine and the mineralogy of evaporitic minerals of the L.V. Mansilla (LVM) intermittent saline lake, during a period of approximately one year. This shallow saline lake is located in the northwest corner of the province of Córdoba, between (29° 88´ - 29° 83´) South, and (64° 77´ - 64° 67´) west. The brine of this lake has a Cl- - Na+ chemical composition, with subordinated SO  in all the evaporitic cycle stages. The range of total dissolved solids concentration fluctuates between 35 gL-1 (March) to 318 gL-1 (November), while the brine is concentrated up to 45 times, according to the measured values of K+, considering this element as conservative in the scope of salinity observed. The sedimentary record is mainly composed of a silicic-clastic mud, the dominant fractions are silts and clays (48% and 49%), while the fine sand fraction does not exceed 3%. Regarding the evaporitic minerals, gypsum and halite could be recognized, the first distributed throughout the studied profile and halite crowning the sedimentary record. The yearly variation in the volume of the surficial brine shows three distinctive stages: [a] Flooding stage (November-March) is characterized by partial dissolution of gypsum and complete dissolution of halite. [b] Stationary stage (April-June) is characterized by groundwater inflow and, as a result of increases salinity, gypsum reaches a positive saturation index, crystallizing at the bottom of the lake, and within the interstitial mud. [c] Finally during the recessive stage (July-October) all inflow waters decrease and the precipitation of gypsum keeps restricted to the interface brine-mud/sediment and halite crystallizes on the surface brine.

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Dargam, M., & Elortegui Palacios, J. (2021). Hydrogeochemistry and evaporitic sedimentation models in shallow saline lakes. Lucio V. Mansilla, Salinas Grandes, Córdoba. Argentina. Revista De La Asociación Geológica Argentina, 78(4), 578-593. Retrieved from https://revista.geologica.org.ar/raga/article/view/981


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