Spatial and Temporal
Characteristics of Saline Springs: Sea of Galilee, Israel
Alon Rimmer, Shaul Hurwitz and Haim Gvirtzman
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Spatial and temporal characteristics of the saline springs that emerge along the western shore of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) are analyzed. Three groups of onshore springs (Tiberias, Fuliya and Tabgha) and two groups of offshore springs (Barbutim and Maagan), contribute saline water to the lake with concentrations in the range of 300 to 18,000 mgCl/l, depending on location and season. It is well accepted that water emerging at these springs is a mixture of two end members, deep seated saline groundwater and shallow, fresh circulating groundwater. Temporal trends of discharge rates and of chloride (representing the deep saline aquifer) and nitrate (representing the shallow fresh-water aquifer) concentrations within each group of springs are presented. Results show the proportions of the two water bodies while mixing are time dependent. Discharge and concentration peaks in Tabgha springs precede those in Fuliya and Tiberias springs by approximately two months. An analytical solution shows that in Tabgha, variations of these parameters are mainly controlled by recharge variations in the Galilee, and follow an exponential function. In Fuliya and Tiberias, variations of these parameters are mainly dependent on lake-level, and follow a sine-cosine function. The different patterns are attributed to different hydraulic properties of the discharge area.