Initial assessment of recharge areas for large karst springs: a case study from the central Zagros Mountains, Iran


Material Information

Initial assessment of recharge areas for large karst springs: a case study from the central Zagros Mountains, Iran
Series Title:
Hydrogeology Journal
Vardanjani, Hossein Karimi
Chitsazan, Manouchehr
Ford, Derek
Karimi, Haji
Charchi, Abbas
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Karst ( local )
Groundwater Recharge ( local )
Water Budget ( local )
Hydrochemistry ( local )
Arid Regions ( local )
Iran ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Sousan Spring emerges from the Keyno Anticline, Zagros Mountains (Iran), and the mean annual discharge is ~24 m3 /s. Geological and hydrochemical evaluations suggest that the spring recharge is from the limestone Ilam-Sarvak Formation (Cretaceous) but the Mafaroon Fault, a major thrust feature, influences the regional groundwater flow path by juxtaposing other strata. Geological, geochemical, stable isotope and water balance studies were employed to interpret this behavior. Using the isotope data, the sources and elevations of the recharge area were found. Temporal variations of the isotopic data were compared with variations of electrical conductivity (EC). Unexpectedly, high EC was associated with a relative increase of discharge and depletion of δ18O. Several hypotheses were investigated and approximate water balance studies employed for validation. It was found that an elongated catchment on the Keyno Anticline plus a lesser catchment on a pair of parallel anticlines recharge the aquifer. While the long groundwater flow path along the Keyno Anticline plus guidance by Mafaroon Fault and the adjacent Garou shaly strata lead to increased EC in the Sousan Spring at the end of the dry season, a flow pulse from two adjoining anticlines (Mahalbakh and Shirgoon) arrives at the same time to increase the discharge and deplete the δ18O signal. Apparently the spring did not experience true base flow conditions during the recorded hydrological year. Although the spring response to specific precipitation events was similar to typical karst aquifers, standard interpretation of recession curves and related coefficients will not be practical at Sousan.
Original Version:
Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 26, no. 1 (2017-12-09).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.