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Highlights

  • Hydrogeology of world´s best-developed salt karst region was studied
  • Soil water chemistry depends on both the climate and cap soil thickness
  • Flash floods in salt karst are very rapid and hazardous
  • Flash flood runoff on thick cap soil in semi-arid climate has very low TDS
  • Mean residence time of water on the diapirs is controlled by the cap soil thickness

Abstract

Southern Iran hosts abundant salt karst phenomena in numerous salt diapirs. This paper provides a new insight into the relationships among climate, cap soil and salt karst hydrogeology. Cave systems were documented and mapped. Soil, drip, stream, and flood waters from different environments were studied at several diapirs. It was revealed that the soil water chemistry depends on both the climate and cap soil thickness. In semi-arid climates, a thick cap soil forms (>3 m) and water has very low TDS values (0.15 g/l). In arid climates, a shallow cap soil forms, and soil water is gypsum-saturated with low dissolved halite contents. In both environments, drip waters from salt caves and springs displayed high TDS values (255 to 347 g/l). This is explained by the dissolution of halite and minor anhydrite/gypsum, a K-Mg sulfate and sylvite. Spring water plots on a local meteoric water line, whereas drips in caves have an evaporative signature. The flash flood runoff is dominated by event rain water based on isotopic data, while springs are dominantly supplied by a base flow component. The mean residence time of water on the diapirs is controlled by the cap soil thickness. Water residence times may reach several hundreds of years on a thick cap soil based on an exponential model butsoil.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5038/1827-806X.46.2.2109

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Supplemental Table 3.pdf (77 kB)
Supplemental Table 3

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Supplemental Table 3.pdf (77 kB)
Supplemental Table 3

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