Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 59 Number 3: 112-118 -December 1997

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Hydrochemographs of Berghan Karst Spring as Indicators of Aquifer Characteristics
Ezzatollah Raeisi and Gholamhosein Karami


Berghan Spring is located in the southern part of Iran, northwest of Shiraz. The catchment area of the spring consists of the southern flank of the Gar Anticline, which is made up of the karstic calcareous Sarvak Formation. There are no sinkholes or other karst landforms in the catchment area. Because of the existence of several faults, the aquifer has been brecciated and may have caused karstification to occur in most of the pores and fissures. The specific conductance, pH and water temperature were measured once every twenty days for a period of 32 months and water samples were analyzed for major anions and cations. Flow rate was measured daily during the recession, and once every three weeks during the rest of the study period. Using the WATEQF computer model, the partial pressure of carbon dioxide and the saturation index of calcite and dolomite also were estimated. Three distinct periods, the first recession, the second recession, and precipitation, were observed in the hydrograph of Berghan Spring. No considerable differences were observed between the first and second recession coefficients. Base flow constitutes 71.5%, 100% and 66.2% of total flow in the first recession period, the second recession period and the precipitation period, respectively. The variation of specific conductance, calcium and bicarbonate concentrations and calcite saturation indices are not significant during the study period, implying that aquifer characteristics control the chemical behavior of the spring. The morphology and geology of the Berghan Spring catchment area, and data from hydrographs and chemographs, show that the hydrologic system is dominantly diffuse flow. Evidence for this is shown by autogenic recharge, a brecciated aquifer, and small values and slight differences in hydrograph recession coefficients. In addition, specific conductance, calcium and bicarbonate concentrations, and water temperature did not show significant variations during the study period suggesting a diffuse flow aquifer.

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