Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Conference papers
Title (Primary) Golan Heights groundwater systems: separation by REE+Y and stable isotopes
Title (Secondary) American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008
Author Siebert, C. ORCID logo ; Geyer, S. ORCID logo ; Knöller, K.; Weise, S.; Rödiger, T.; Dulski, P.; Möller, P.; Guttman, J.
Year 2008
Department CATHYD
Volume Abstract H12D-02
Language englisch
Abstract In a semi-arid to arid country like Israel, all freshwater resources are under (over-) utilization. Particularly, the Golan Heights rank as one of the most important extraction areas of groundwater of good quality and quantity. Additionally the mountain range feed to a high degree the most important freshwater reservoir of Israel, the Sea of Galilee. Hence, knowing the sources and characters of the Golan Heights groundwater systems is an instantaneous demand regarding sustainable management and protection. Within the "German-Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian Joint Research Program for the Sustainable Utilisation of Aquifer Systems", hundreds of water samples were taken from all over the Jordan-Dead Sea rift-system to understand groundwater flow-systems and salinisation. For that purpose, each sample was analysed for major and minor ions, rare earth elements including yttrium (REY) and stable isotopes of water (d18O, d2H). The REY distribution in groundwater is established during infiltration by the first water-rock interaction and consequently reflects the leachable components of sediments and rocks of the recharge area. In well- developed flow-systems, REY are adsorbed onto pore surfaces are in equilibrium with the percolating groundwater, even if the lithology changes (e.g. inter-aquifer flow). Thus, groundwater sampled from wells and springs still show the REY distribution pattern established in the recharge area. Since high temperatures do not occur in Golan Heights, d2H and d18O are less controlled by water-rock interaction than by climatic and geomorphological factors at the time of replenishment. Applying the REY signature as a grouping criterion of groundwaters, d18O vs. d2H plots yield a new dimension in interpreting isotope data. The combined use of hydrochemical and isotopic methods enabled us to contain the areas of replenishment and the flow-paths of all investigated groundwater in the Golan Heights. Despite location, salinity or temperature of spring or well waters, stable isotopes showed, that the main area of recharge is the elevated Hermon-Massif, with high annually precipitation amounts. The major element composition of fresh water well Alonei HaBashan 3, situated in the basaltic Upper Golan Heights, is defined by a pre-Neogenic limy aquifer and the contact to basalts. However, REY pattern refer to a calcareous infiltration area. Stable isotope signatures are lighter than in the recharge of comparable elevated Upper Galilee. Further to the south, in the Yarmouk gorge hot Mezar springs occur, which show stable isotope signatures even lighter than in water of Alonei Habshan 3. Both, REY pattern and hydrochemistry show infiltration into and contact to the Sr-rich limestone aquifer of the Mt. Scopus group. That adds up to an infiltration area some 50 km to the north, the nearest elevated area where carbonates crop out. Nearby Mezar, hot Hammat Gader springs occur, which show comparable isotopic signatures and hydrochemical composition. However, the REY-patterns indicate infiltration in basalts. By means of those three examples we could show, that the use of a combined hydrochemical and isotopic approach reveals complex and large-scale groundwater infiltration- and flow-systems much better than a focused view on a specific band of elements.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Siebert, C., Geyer, S., Knöller, K., Weise, S., Rödiger, T., Dulski, P., Möller, P., Guttman, J. (2008):
Golan Heights groundwater systems: separation by REE+Y and stable isotopes
American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008
Abstract H12D-02