Environmental Earth Sciences

, 76:181 | Cite as

Major factors influencing boron adsorption in sediments—a case study of modern sediments in Qinghai Lake

  • Changyong WangEmail author
  • Shiguo Lin
  • Yaqiong Wei
  • Yi Zhou
  • Hailiang Chang
  • Jiang Liu
Original Article


Because the boron (B) concentration in water has an apparent positive correlation with salinity, the B content adsorbed in sediments is often regarded as an important indicator to reconstruct the water salinity in a sedimentary environment. The premise of the quantitative reconstruction of paleosalinity is that the B uptake in sediments is proportional to the B concentration in water; however, the study showed that there is no direct relationship. The B absorption in sediments can be affected by both the content of the clay minerals and the total organic carbon content. The data from testing modern sediments and water samples in the Qinghai Lake show that a higher content in clay minerals is beneficial for B adsorption. Furthermore, the organic carbon from halophiles has a strong effect on the enrichment of B. Therefore, the organic carbon content in sediments should be considered when the paleosalinity of water is reconstructed using its B content. It is also thought that the Adams and Couch formulas are not suitable for reconstructing the salinity of water with a high organic carbon content in sediments because they consider only the effect of clay minerals on the adsorbed B without the contribution of organic carbon.


Paleosalinity Trace elements Halophile Organic carbon Saline lake 



We thank Jian Wei and Lei Wang from Chengdu University of Technology for sample collection and pretreatment. This work was supported financially by the National Natural Youth Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 41302088). Professor Wenwu Liu and other reviewers are acknowledged for his critical reviews, which led to improvement of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Changyong Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shiguo Lin
    • 2
  • Yaqiong Wei
    • 1
  • Yi Zhou
    • 1
  • Hailiang Chang
    • 1
  • Jiang Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Sedimentary Geology InstituteChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.Langfang Branch, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and DevelopmentPetroChinaLangfangChina

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