Radiocarbon age distribution of groundwater in the Konya Closed Basin, central Anatolia, Turkey


HYDROGEOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.17, no.2, pp.347-365, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10040-008-0358-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.347-365
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Annual abstraction of 2.6x10(9)m(3) of groundwater in the 53,000 km(2) Konya Closed Basin of central Turkey has caused a head decline of 1 m/year over the last few decades. Therefore, understanding the hydrogeology of this large endorheic basin, in a semi-arid climate, is important to sustainable resource management. For this purpose, the groundwater's radiocarbon age distribution has been investigated along a 150-km transect parallel to regional flow. Results show that the groundwater ranges in age from Recent at the main recharge area of the Taurus Mountains in the south, to about 40,000 years around the terminal Salt Lake located in the north. In this predominantly confined flow system, radiocarbon ages increase linearly by distance from the main recharge area and are in agreement with the hydraulic ages. The mean velocity of regional groundwater flow (3 m/year) is determined by the rate of regional groundwater discharge into the Salt Lake. Calcite dissolution, dedolomitization and geogenic carbon dioxide influx appear to be the dominant geochemical processes that determine the carbon isotope composition along the regional flow path. The groundwater's oxygen-18 content indicates more humid and cooler paleorecharge. A maximum drop of 5 degrees C is inferred for the past recharge temperature.