• Isotopes of dissolved helium may help understanding hypogene karstification
  • Magmatism along suture zones seem to favor hypogene karst development
  • Hypogenesis may lead to formation of life threatening gigantic collapse dolines


Noble gas and water isotope compositions of regional groundwater were investigated along two transects in the Konya Closed Basin (KCB) of central Turkey. According to the 3He/4He versus Ne/He plot of samples, crust (up to 86%) and mantle (up to 26%) appear to be the primary and secondary sources of dissolved He in groundwater, respectively. After the beginning of both transects where the flow domain is confined, both 3He and 4He accumulate steadily in groundwater. Thereafter, the intermediate recharge from the surface in the unconfined part of regional flow system disrupts the steady accumulation trend of 3He and 4He. Effect of intermediate recharge on regional groundwater is also indicated by the spatial variations in specific conductance, temperature, water isotopes, and tritium signals. At the last part of the flow domain where the system becomes confined again 3He and 4He start to accumulate in the eastern transect whereas they continue to decline in the western transect probably because of degassing to atmosphere through thinner confining unit. The 4He accumulation rates based on radiocarbon ages and 4He concentrations along both transects between the mountain flank and Obruk Plateau are in agreement with literature values but differ from each other. The accumulation rate along the eastern and western transects are 4.93 × 10-11 cm3 STP/g•year and 1.99 × 10-10 cm3 STP/g•year, respectively. These values reveal that the 4He accumulation rates may differ at least four times at different parts of a single aquifer, which are located 30 to 60 km apart. It is understood that any groundwater age-dating attempt by 4He requires a firm pre-assessment of spatial 4He accumulation rates. He isotope signal in the groundwater of KCB proves the mantle and/or crustal gas input into the carbonate aquifer in which an on-going hypogenic karst development has been suspected.



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