Connate Origin Proposed for Hot Salty Bottom Water from a Red Sea Basin


A 200-m thick layer of extraordinary bottom water (temp. 44° C; salinity 270 parts per thousand) has been reported recently from a central Red Sea basin by Swallow and Crease1. Anomalous water with less extreme values has been noted previously in the general area2–5. Charnock6 suggested that the warm, saline water was formed by evaporation in a shallow lagoon and travelled to the central basin as a density flow. Preliminary chemical investigations led Swallow and Crease1 to conclude that the anomalous brine could not be sea water concentrated by evaporation, since the ratios of major ions as well as the chlorinity-conductivity ratio differed significantly from those of normal sea water. The origin suggested was the washing of hypothetical salt beds exposed in the area. The high temperature of the water was referred to the flow of heat coming through the sea floor in regions of high tectonic activity.

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  1. 1

    Swallow, J. C., and Crease, J., Nature, 205, 165 (1965).

  2. 2

    Bruneau, L., Jerlov, N. G., and Koczy, F., Rep. Swedish Deep Sea Expedition, 3, 4, Appendix, Table 1, xxix–xxx (1953).

  3. 3

    Neumann, A. C., and Densmore, C. D. (unpublished manuscript); Ref. 60–2, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1960).

  4. 4

    Neumann, A. C., and McGill, D. A., Deep-Sea Res., 8, 223 (1962).

  5. 5

    Miller, A. R., Nature, 203, 590 (1964).

  6. 6

    Charnock, H., Nature, 203, 591 (1964).

  7. 7

    Chave, K. E., Bull. Amer. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists, 44, 357 (1960).

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NEUMANN, A., CHAVE, K. Connate Origin Proposed for Hot Salty Bottom Water from a Red Sea Basin. Nature 206, 1346–1347 (1965) doi:10.1038/2061346a0

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