Among various water resources, the surface water has a dominant role in providing water supply in the arid and semi-arid region of Iran. Andarokh-Kardeh basin is located in 50 km from Mashhad city - the second biggest city of Iran (NE of Iran), draining by Kardeh river which provides a significant portion of potable and irrigation water needs for Mashhad. The stable isotopes (18O, 2H,13C-DIC, and 13C-DOC), as reliable and precious water fingerprints, have been measured in Kardeh river (Kharket, Mareshk, Jong, All and Kardeh stations) and in Kardeh dam reservoirs (at five different sites S1 to S5) during March to June 2011 and June 2012. On δ18O vs. δ2H diagram, the river samples were plotted between Global and Eastern Mediterranean Meteoric Water lines (GMWL and EMMWL) which demonstrate that various moisture sources are providing humidity for precipitation events in this area. The enriched δ18O and δ2H values (-6.5 ‰ and -44.5 ‰ VSMOW) of Kardeh dam reservoir are compared to Kardeh river (-8.6‰and-54.4‰), and its deviation from Mashhad meteoric water line (MMWL- δ2H=7.16δ18O+11.22) is due to evaporation from the open surface water body. The enriched value of δ 13C-DIC and high amount of DIC values (-7.9 ‰ VPDB and 57.23 ppm) in the river and Kardeh dam reservoir (-7.3 ‰ VPDB and 55.53 ppm) is due to dissolution of Mozdooran Carbonate Formation lithology (Jm1 to Jm3 units) (contains enriched δ13C DIC values of 9.2‰ to 27.7‰ VPDB) in the region. Because of the domination of C3 vegetations in Andarokh_Kardeh basin, the δ13C-DOC isotope of the river (-28.4‰ VPDB) and dam reservoir (-32.3‰ VPDB) demonstrate depleted values. Higher DOC concentration in dam reservoir (2.57 ppm) compared to the river (0.72 ppm) is due to more biologogical activities and organic matters in dam reservoir.
Andarokh basin is one of the main karstic regions in Khorasan Razavi province NE Iran. This basin is part of Kopeh-Dagh mega zone extending from Caspian Sea in the east to northern Afghanistan in the west. This basin is covered by Mozdooran Formation, Ngr evaporative formation and quaternary alluvium deposits in descending order of age. Mozdooran carbonate formation is notably karstified. The main surface karstic features in Mozdooran formation are Groove karren, Cleft karren, Rain pit, Rill karren, Tritt karren, Kamintza, Domes, and Table karren. In addition to surface features, deep karstic feature Andarokh Cave also exists in the region. Studying Ca, Mg, Mn, Sr, Fe concentration and Sr/Mn ratio in Mozdooran formation samples with distance to main faults and joints system using PCA analyses demonstrates intense meteoric digenesis role in controlling carbonate rock geochemistry. The karst evaluation in Andarokh basin varies from early stages 'deep seated karst' in Mesozoic to mature karstic system 'Exhumed karst' in quaternary period. Andarokh cave (the main cave in Andarokh basin) is rudimentary branch work consists of three passages of A, B and C and two entrances Andarokh and Sky.
Iran is a semi-arid and arid country in south-western Asia in the Middle East facing intense climatological drought from the early times. Therefore, studying the precipitation events and the moisture sources and air masses causing precipitation has great importance in this region. In this study, the moisture sources and stable isotope content of precipitation moisture in three main events in 2015 have been studied in North-Eastern Iran. HYSPLIT model backward trajectories showed that the Caspian Sea and the mixture of the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas are dominant moisture sources for the studied events. This showed the role of cP (Siberian) and Mediterranean (MedT) air masses. Stable isotope studies showed that precipitation events originated from the Caspian Sea with lower Sea Surface Temperature (SST) have more depleted isotope values. However, precipitation events sourced from the mixture of the Caspian and the Mediterranean Seas (with higher SST) showed more enriched isotope values.