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Assessment of water-rock interaction processes in the Karst Springs of Makook Anticline (Kurdistan Region, Iraq) using Sr-isotopes, rare earth, and trace elements

  • Omed MustafaEmail author
  • Marion Tichomirowa
  • Nicolai-Alexeji Kummer
  • Broder Merkel
Original Paper
  • 172 Downloads

Abstract

This work characterizes the karst springs of the Makook karst system (Kurdistan Region, Iraq) in terms of geochemistry of Sr-isotopes, rare earth, and trace elements. The aim of the work is to better understand water-rock interaction by geochemical means. Sources of elements, correlation of flow rate and the geochemistry of carbonate aquifers, and effects of organic matter on the rare earth elements were investigated. Furthermore, the degree of karstification and the length of flow path were assessed. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio of two spring waters was similar to the ratio of rocks forming the aquifer, indicating that these rocks are their main and dominant Sr source. In the remaining six spring waters, the 87Sr/86Sr ratios were significantly higher than their corresponding aquifer rocks at the spring outlet and thus pointed to additional Sr sources. A temporal variation of 87Sr/86Sr in the Sarwchawa spring corresponds to flow rate changes. The chemical composition of the spring water reflects some important features of the chemical composition of their aquifers. Springs that stem from the Kometan aquifer (mainly limestone) are characterized by higher mineralization compared to springs that drained from dolomites of the Bekhme aquifer. Low to medium V2+, Rb+, P3+, and Si4+ contents in waters correspond to springs fed by limestone and dolomite aquifers, whereas higher concentrations of these elements reflect water from a marly limestone aquifer (Shkarta spring). The release of these elements is related to the clay fraction of this aquifer. In contrast, the highest concentrations of Ni2+, Se4+, Mo6+, SO4 2−, Sr2+, F¯, and Ba2+ were found in the spring fed by pure limestone but having the highest flow rate and the longest flow path. Therefore, these elements were enriched in the water due to longer interaction of the water with the rock. The temporal variation of REE concentrations in karst waters are controlled by flow, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), temperature, and redox reactions.

Keywords

Karst 87Sr/86Sr isotope Kurdistan Region Trace elements Sarwchawa Carbonate rocks 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The present study was carried out as a part of a HCDP scholarship offered by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research/Kurdistan Regional Government. Cordial thanks go to the staff of the isotope laboratory in Institute of Mineralogy, TU Bergakademie Freiberg for their support with lab work and to Katharina Strecker (Institute of Analytical Chemistry, TU Bergakademie Freiberg) for digesting of the rock samples.

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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omed Mustafa
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Marion Tichomirowa
    • 2
  • Nicolai-Alexeji Kummer
    • 1
  • Broder Merkel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeologyTU Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany
  2. 2.Institute of MineralogyTU Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany
  3. 3.Department of General Sciences, College of Basic EducationCharmo UniversityKurdistan RegionIraq

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