Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 1107–1115 | Cite as

Bromine content and Br/Cl molar ratio of halite in a core from Laos: implications for origin and environmental changes

  • Shurui Sun
  • Minghui LiEmail author
  • Maodu Yan
  • Xiaomin Fang
  • Gengxin Zhang
  • Xiaoming Liu
  • Zengjie Zhang
Original Article


Bromine (Br) is one of the trace elements in halite. Br content and the Br/chlorine (Cl) molar ratio can be used to reveal dry climates, the degree of evaporation, and/or brine concentration. The Br content of basal halite is more useful than that the Br content of halite from later stages when being used to distinguishing marine from nonmarine origins. Evaporite deposits on the Khorat Plateau (KP) have been a primary source of evaporites in southeastern Asia. The origin (i.e., marine, nonmarine, or a combination of the two) of these deposits is still disputed. In this study, we used the Br concentration of basal halite and the Br/Cl molar ratio to explore the origin of these deposits and the environmental changes that took place in the Late Cretaceous. We analyzed a total of 330 halite samples from borehole ZK2893 for cations (K+, Ca2+, Na+, and Mg2+) and anions (Br, Cl, and SO42−). The Br content ranged from 24.04 to 277.87 ppm, and the Br/Cl molar ratio ranged from 0.02 to 0.27 ppm. The low Br content (24.04 ppm) and Br × 103/Cl molar ratio (0.02) of the basal halite suggested that no marine water was in the basin when the halite precipitation began. The temporal variations in the Br content and the Br × 103/Cl molar ratio of halite implied that: (1) the climate in this area during the Late Cretaceous was dry, with two dry stages occurring from 92 to 85 Ma and from 80 to 72 Ma; and (2) the drying trend increased from 92 to 85 Ma and from 80 to 72 Ma, with two extremely dry events occurring during the periods 89–85 Ma and 76–73 Ma.


Br Br/Cl Saline lake Origin Environment Laos 



This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant no. 2017YFC0602803), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant nos. XDA20070201 and XDA20070101), the International Cooperation Project (Grant no. 131C11KYSB20160072) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 41620104002). We thank Dr. Zan JB, Dr. Yang YB and Chen Y for their work in drilling the Core ZK2893. We thank LetPub ( for providing linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

13146_2019_508_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (358 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Contents of K, Ca, Mg, and SO4 in the Core ZK2893 (JPEG 358 kb)
13146_2019_508_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (2.6 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 2 The relationship between wt % Br in halite and the contents of K, Ca, Mg, and SO4 (JPEG 2675 kb)
13146_2019_508_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (119 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Contents of ions and the Br × 103/Cl molar ratios in the Core ZK2893 (XLSX 118 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shurui Sun
    • 1
    • 3
  • Minghui Li
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Maodu Yan
    • 2
    • 5
  • Xiaomin Fang
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  • Gengxin Zhang
    • 6
  • Xiaoming Liu
    • 2
  • Zengjie Zhang
    • 7
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchCASBeijingChina
  2. 2.CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Depositional MineralsShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchCASBeijingChina
  6. 6.Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity (LAEB)CASBeijingChina
  7. 7.Institute of Mineral DepositChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina

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