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Waters of the petroleum-bearing Clinton formation (Albion Sandstone) of eastern Ohio are highly concentrated brines with average total dissolved solids (TDS) of 250,000 ppm. Sodium, calcium, and chloride account for 97% of the TDS. Distribution of divalent metal chlorides (MCl) allows inference of an up-dip paleoflow direction, although present-day flow is probably down-dip. Solute distribution may have been emplaced during early basin development; it thus provides a "snapshot" of paleoflow. Formation structure alone can not explain MCl trends; they probably also are controlled by regional variation in salt thickness. Major constituent data do not indicate that membrane filtration affected the waters.
High bromide content (mean = 1860 ppm) of the waters indicates that they originated from evaporating seawater. They probably are related genetically to the Salina evaporite group. Calculations show that several subsequent diagenetic reactions can account for the observed major ion composition. Recrystallization of aragonite and dolomitization of calcite probably occurred as the waters moved through the Big Lime and/or the Packer Shell carbonates. Cation exchange and chlorite formation probably altered water composition during interaction with shales of the Cabot Head formation and within the Clinton. Minor constituents of the waters appear to be controlled by reactions with clays.
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