Geochemistry and Sr, S, and O stable isotopes of Miocene Abu Dhabi evaporites, United Arab Emirates

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This study investigates for the first time the subsurface Miocene evaporite facies (Gachsaran Formation) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Forty-five evaporite rock samples were selected for petrographic, mineralogical, and geochemical investigations and stable isotope analyses to decipher their origin and constrain their age. Secondary gypsum with anhydrite relics dominates the investigated evaporitic rocks, with minor amounts of clays, dolomicrite, Fe/Ti oxides, and celestite. These samples are characterized by their excellent purity and low variability in geochemical composition. The distribution of trace element concentrations is significantly influenced by continental detrital intake. The main focus of the study is to determine the strontium, sulfur, and oxygen stable isotope compositions. The measured 87Sr/86Sr values of 0.708411–0.708739 are consistent with Miocene marine sulfates and indicate ∼21.12–15.91 Ma (Late Aquitanian-Burdigalian). The δ34S and δ18O values are 17.10‰–21.59‰ and 11.89‰–19.16‰, respectively. These values are comparable to those of Tertiary marine evaporites. The relatively low values of δ34S suggest that non-marine water possesses little influence on S distribution. The geochemical composition and Sr, S, and O isotope distributions of the Abu Dhabi gypsum facies from the Gachsaran Formation reveals that their source brines were marine (coastal saline/sabkha) with subordinate continental input.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16033
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Abu Dhabi
  • Evaporites
  • Geochemistry
  • Gypsum
  • Isotopes
  • Miocene
  • Sr/Sr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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