Submarine and coastal karstic groundwater discharges along the Southwestern Mediterranean coast of Turkey
A 120 km-long part of the southwestern coast of Turkey, with well-developed karst terrain in contact with the sea, has been investigated by systematic diving surveys to determine the submarine groundwater discharges (SGDs). The physical, chemical and isotopic data have been used to determine the rate of the fresh groundwater end member (FEM) and its temporal dynamics. About 150 SGDs have been detected by diving surveys employed mostly up to a depth of 30 m below sea level (bsl). Among those, 15 SGDs are in the form of coastal or submarine caves with entrances ranging between sea surface and 40 m bsl. The FEM contribution in SGDs ranges from a few percent to more than 80%. Stable isotope data suggest a range of mean recharge area elevations extending from the coast to more than 1,000 m inland. In many of the SGDs, the FEMs are characterized by tritium-based residence times ranging from recent to several decades. Hypothetical geochemical calculations of mixing between freshwater and seawater end members reveal that more than 45% of freshwater contribution is required for karst development in the SGDs. Models suggest a threshold pH of 7.6 or lower for the carbonate rock dissolution. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.