Submarine groundwater discharge in the southeastern Mediterranean (Israel)

Y. Weinstein, G. Less, U. Kafri, B. Herut

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Low salinities and relatively high 222Rn activities were found in several sites along the northern coast of Israel. Seawater salinities were as low as 37.4 ppt (compared with 39.6-39.8 ppt in eastern Mediterranean water) and 222Rn activities were up to 3.5 dpm/l, implying the existence of Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD). 226Ra activities were usually low (< 0.3  dpm / l), suggesting that the discharge is mainly of fresh water. Very high radon activities (up to 1,800 dpm/l) with strong tidal variability were found in small tidal flat springs in northwestern Carmel. High activities of 222Rn were not found at any site south of Mt. Carmel, and low salinities were documented just at two sites. The lack of SGD in the south is probably due to the efficient confinement of the Cretaceous carbonate aquifer and to the reduced hydraulic heads in the overlying Pleistocene granular aquifer. On the other hand, the SGD in the north is from the Cretaceous aquifer, either by direct discharge to the sea or through the overlying Pleistocene aquifer. The latter becomes possible due to the absence of confining layers or via transversal faults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-372
Number of pages13
JournalRadioactivity in the Environment
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by BSF Grant 2002381. Y. Gertner from the IOLR was of great help in the field and in the lab and L. Izraelov helped with the nutrient analyses. Radon analyses could not be performed without the technical assistance of Y. Sherer from the Hebrew University. The authors also wish to thank Y. Yechieli and B. Lazar for the useful discussions.


  • Aquifer
  • Mediterranean
  • Ra
  • Rn
  • Salinity
  • Seawater
  • Submarine groundwater discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Submarine groundwater discharge in the southeastern Mediterranean (Israel)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this