Early diagenesis of highly saline lake sediments after exposure

Yoseph Yechieli, Daniel Ronen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The present work describes processes that change, within decades, the composition of interstitial water and the mineral assemblage of the newly formed unsaturated zone in the coastal Dead Sea aquifer. The main processes are mixing between fresh groundwater and Dead Sea brine, and evaporation. The salinity of the interstitial solution gradually increases with decreasing distance to the sediment/atmosphere interface leading to the sequential precipitation of gypsum (CaSO4 · 2H2O), halite (NaCl), carnallite (KMgCl3 · 6H2O), and possibly sylvite (KCl) and bischofite (MgCl2 · 6H2O). The presence and depth of these salts in the profile was verified by SEM and also theoretically calculated using the PHRQPITZ code. In arid and hypersaline environments these processes can change syngenetic records and therefore could lead to the incorrect interpretation of the environmental conditions of deposition such as palaeosalinity and palaeoclimate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Geology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 May 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Dead sea
  • Diagenesis
  • Hypersaline environment
  • Interstitial solutions
  • Saline sediments
  • Unsaturated zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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