Advances in Earth Science ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 246-258. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2020.013

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Application of Lithium Isotope Geochemistry to the Study of the Continental Geothermal System

Xiaocan Yu( ),Chenglin Liu,Chunlian Wang   

  1. MLR Key Laboratory of Metallogeny and Mineral Assessment, Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
  • Received:2019-10-29 Revised:2020-01-17 Online:2020-03-10 Published:2020-04-10
  • About author:Yu Xiaocan (1988-), male, Jingmen City, Hubei Province, Postdoctoral fellow. Research areas include underground brine-type potassium and lithium deposits and geochemistry. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the Central Public Welfare Scientific Research Basic Scientific Research Business Expenses “Metallogenic mechanism of potassium and lithium in brines in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic evaporite basins in South China”(KY1603);The State Key Development Program for Basic Research of China “Mineralization regularity and prediction of potash deposits of marine basins in Chinese microplate”(2011CB403007)

Xiaocan Yu,Chenglin Liu,Chunlian Wang. Application of Lithium Isotope Geochemistry to the Study of the Continental Geothermal System[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2020, 35(3): 246-258.

The lithium-rich brine in salt lakes is the main raw material of the world’s lithium products, while the continental geothermal fluids with a high salinity often contain a high concentration of lithium. Continental geothermal system is the focus in the study of geothermal formation mechanism. However, less attention is paid to the system due to the complexity of lithology, and the application of lithium isotopes in this field has not been systematically recognized. The newest application and progress of lithium isotope geochemistry in continental geothermal research in recent years were discussed, the problems in this field were put forward, and future research methods and directions were expected. The study of continental geothermal fluids should attach great importance to the application of Li-B-Sr-U multi-isotopic method, and should also be combined with water-rock reaction experiments under different temperature conditions. Moreover, in the future, the research on continental geothermal system should pay more attention to the various sediment/rock lithium isotopic compositions and their spatio-temporal distribution characteristics in the regional or geothermal field’s scales, mineralogy of reservoir rock, and behaviors of lithium isotopes related to the formation of secondary minerals in the process of water-rock interaction, in order to reveal the complex process of fluid evolution in the geothermal system and provide scientific reference for the exploration, exploitation and utilization of lithium resources in the system.

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