--> Abstract: A New Evaporite-Model for Rift Basins: The ‘Hydrothermal Salt Model’ ,by R.E. Collier, K. Al-Ramadan, M. Kaminski, A.I. Koeshidayatullah, G.W. Hughes, D. Cantrell, and A. AlHussaini, #90188 (2014)

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A New Evaporite-Model for Rift Basins: The ‘Hydrothermal Salt Model’

R.E. Collier1, K. Al-Ramadan2, M. Kaminski2, A.I. Koeshidayatullah2, G.W. Hughes3, D. Cantrell4, and A. AlHussaini4

1University of Leeds
2King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
3The Natural History Museum
4Saudi Arabian Oil Company


Large, buried salt bodies occur in numerous offshore rift-related sedimentary basins, worldwide. The conventional evaporite theory - solar evaporation of seawater - is normally applied to explain such formations. However, for some of them there are several conceptual problems. This strongly suggests that other mechanisms besides solar evaporation may be involved in the formation of large salt bodies located in deep water. A new conceptual model, called ‘the hydrothermal salt model’, predicts that salt may accumulate in the sub-surface associated with hydrothermal circulation of seawater. The hypothesis is based on the physicochemical behavior of supercritical seawater: when seawater migrates into the high-temperature and high-pressure (HTHP) domain of supercritical seawater, it loses its solubility for the common sea salts (chlorides and sulfates). Consequently, a spontaneous precipitation of salts takes place in the water-filled pore spaces. The HTHP-conditions for the transition of seawater into the supercritical phase is around 405 degree C and 300 bar pressure.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90188 ©GEO-2014, 11th Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition, 10-12 March 2014, Manama, Bahrain