Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 15, pp 15003–15014 | Cite as

Chemical and isotopic constrains on the origin of brine and saline groundwater in Hetao plain, Inner Mongolia

  • Jun Liu
  • Zongyu ChenEmail author
  • Lijuan Wang
  • Yilong Zhang
  • Zhenghong Li
  • Jiaming Xu
  • Yurong Peng
Research Article


The origin and evolution of brine and saline groundwater have always been a challenged work for geochemists and hydrogeologists. Chemical and isotopic data of brine and saline waters were used to trace the sources of salinity and therefore to understand the transport mechanisms of groundwater in Xishanzui, Inner Mongolia. Both Cl/Br (molar) versus Na/Br (molar) and Cl (meq/L) versus Na (meq/L) indicated that salinity was from halite dissolution or at least a significant impact by halite dissolution. The logarithmic plot of the concentration trends of Cl (mg/L) versus Br (mg/L) for the evaporation of seawater and the Qinghai Salt Lake showed that the terrestrial halite dissolution was the dominated contribution for the salinity of this brine. The stable isotope ratios of hydrogen and oxygen suggested that the origin of brine was from paleorecharge water which experienced mixing of modern water in shallow aquifer. δ37Cl values ranged from −0.02 to 3.43 ‰ (SMOC), and reflecting mixing of different sources. The Cl isotopic compositions suggest that the dissolution of halite by paleometeoric water had a great contribution to the salinity of brine, and the contributions of the residual seawater and the dissolution of halite by the Yellow River water could be excluded.


Stable isotope Ratios of chemical compositions Source of salinity Brine and saline water Conceptual model Water quality 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC grant No. 41272252 and No. 41502250).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Liu
    • 1
  • Zongyu Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lijuan Wang
    • 1
  • Yilong Zhang
    • 1
  • Zhenghong Li
    • 1
  • Jiaming Xu
    • 1
  • Yurong Peng
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Groundwater Sciences and EngineeringInstitute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological SciencesShijiazhuangChina

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