Evaluation of Dissolved Inorganic and Organic Carbon Concentrations (DIC, DOC) and Their Isotopic Compositions (δ 13C-DOC, δ 13C-DIC) in Water Resources of the Karde Catchment (North of Mashhad)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assoc. Prof., Groundwater Research Center (GRC), Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 MSc Student of Hydrogeology, Groundwater Research


In this paper, the variations of dissolved inorganic and organic carbon (DIC, DOC) concentrations and their isotopic compositions (δ13C- DIC, δ13C- DOC) were evaluated in both surface and ground water resources in the Karde catchment area (with an area of about 547 Km2, located in the North of Mashhad). To identify the sources of the dissolved carbon (DIC and DOC), samples were collected in June 2011 from surface and ground water resources (river, dam’s lake, springs, wells, and Qanat) and from depths of 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 meters of Karde dam lakeat a point located near the dam outlet. Field parameters (T, EC, and TDS) were measured during sampling. All measurements were performed in the G.G. Hatch Stable Isotope Laboratory at the University of Ottawa, Canada. The concentrations and isotopic compositions of DIC and DOC were determined using TCA and CF-IRMS instruments, respectively. Based on the results obt 1-دانشیار،مرکزتحقیقاتآبهایزیرزمینی) متآب)،دانشکدهعلوم،دانشگاهفردوسی مشهد،،مشهد، ایران 2- دانشجوی کارشناسی ارشدهیدروژئولوژی، مرکزتحقیقاتآبهایزیرزمینی) متآب)،دانشکده علوم،دانشگاهفردوسیمشهد، مشهد، ایران *نویسنده مسئول، پست الکترونیکی:mohammadzadeh@um.ac.ir           ained, the average values of DIC are 54.1 mg/l and 66.8 mg/l in the surface and ground water resources in the Karde catchment area, respectively; the average values of DOC are 2.2 mg/l and 0.45 mg/l; the average values of δ13C-DIC are -7‰ and -11 ‰; and the average values of δ13C-DOC are -31.6‰ and -29.5 ‰, respectively. In general, the concentrations of DIC, DOC, and their isotopic compositions (δ13C-DIC, δ13C-DOC) are different in the various water resources (surface and ground water) in the catchment and the major source of dissolved carbon in the catchment area is believed to be due to the lithology (limestone and dolomite carbonate rocks) and partly due to the vegetation (plants C3) in the region.


Main Subjects

  1. Telmer, K., and Veizer, J. (1999). “Carbon fluxes, pCO2 and substrate weathering in a large northern river basin , Canada: Carbon isotope perspectives.” J. of Chemical Geology, 159(1), 61-86.
  2. Moussavi Harrami, R. (2004). Sedimentology, 9nd Ed., Razavi Ghods Astan, Mashhad. (In Persian)
  3. Sharp, Z. (2008). Principles of stable isotope geochemistry, Translate by Rahim Pourbonab., H., Mirnejad, H., and Sonei, R., Tehran University Pub., Tehran.
  4. Anderson, T.E., and Arthur, M.A. (1983). “Stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon and their application to sedimentologic and paleoenviromental problem.” Arthur, M.A. Anderson, T.F., Kaplan, I.R., Veizer, J., and Land, L.S. (Eds.) Stable isotopes in sedimentary geology, pp.1-15I., Vol. 10 SC:SEPM Short Course, Columbia.
  5. Kump, L.R. (1991). “Interpreting carbon-isotope excursions; Strange love oceans.” J.of Geology, 19, 299-302.
  6. Gammons, C.H., Babcock, J.N., Parker, S.R., and Poulson, S.R. (2010). “Diel cycling and stable isotopes of dissolved oxygen, dissolved inorganic carbon, and nitrogenous species in a stream receiving treated municipal sewage.” J. of Chemical Geology, 283(1-2), 44-55.
  7. Neff, I.C., and Anser, G.P. (2001). “Dissolved organic carbon in terrestrial ecosystem synthesis and a model. ecosystem.” J. of Ecosystem,4, 29-48.
  8. Wassenaar, L.I., Aravena, R., Fritz, P., and Barker, J.F. (1990). “Isotopic composition (13C, 14C, 2H) and geochemistry of aquatic humic substances from groundwater.” J. of Organic Geochemistry, 15, 383-339.
  9. Barth, J.A.C., Cronin, A.A. , Dunlop, J., and Kalin, R.M. (2003). “Influence of carbonates on the riverine carbon cycle in an anthropogenically dominated catchment basin: Evidence from major elements and stable carbon isotopes in the Lagan River (N. Ireland).” J.of Chemical Geology, 3/4, 203-216.

10. Grossman, E.L. (2002). Stable carbon isotopes as indicators of microbial activity in aquifers, ASM Pub., Washington, USA.

11. Moradghuli, R. (2010). “Evaluation of landslide potential in karde catchment area.” M.Sc. Thesis, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. (In Persian)

12. Khanalyzadeh, F. (2009). “Study of karst geomorphology in karde basin with emphasis on water resources.” MSc Thesis, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. (In Persian)

13. Clark, I.D., and Fritz, P. (1997). Enviromental isotope in hydrogeology, Press LLC, IBSN:1-56670-249-6.

14. St-Jean, G. (2003). “Automated quantitative and isotope (13C) analysis of dissolved inorganic carbon and dissolved organic carbon in continuous-flow using a total organic carbon analyser.” J. of Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom, 17, 419-428.

15. Mohammadzadeh, H., Clark, I.D., Marschner, M., and St-Jean, G. (2005). “Compound specific isotopic analysis (CSIA) of landfill leachate DOC Components.” J. of Chemical Geology, 218, 3-13.

16. Mohammadzadeh, H., and Clark, I.D., (2008). “Degradation pathways of dissolved carbon in landfill leachate traced with compound-specific 13C isotope analysis of DOC.” J. of Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 44(3), 267-294.

17. Sylvia, D.M., Forman, J.J., HartleL, P.G., and Zubro, D.A. (2005). Principles and applications of soil microbiology, Translate by Lekzyan, A., Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Pub., Iran. (In Persian)

18. Seddighi, A. (1999). “Study of geological and input sewage contaminations on Shiraz Khoshk river and  Maharlou lake with emphasis on heavy metal pollution.” MSc Thesis, University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran.
(In Persian)

19. Heydarizad, M. (2012). “Investigation on hydrogeochemistry of Karde dam's lake water and its hydraulic connection with downstream groundwater resources.” MSc Thesis, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran. (In Persian)

20. Schulte, P., Van Geldern, R., Freitag, H., Karim, A., Négrel, P.H., Petelet-Giraud, E., Probst, A., Probst, J.L., Telmer, K., Veizer, J., and Barth, J.A.C. (2011). “Applications of stable water and carbon isotopes in watershed research: Weathering, carbon cycling, and water balances.” J. of Earth-Science Reviews, 109,

21. Vogel, J.C. (1993). “Variability of carbon isotope fractionaton during photosynthesis.” Ehleringer, J.R., Hall A.E., and Farquhar G.D. (Eds.) Stable isotopes and plant carbon water relations, Academic Press, San Diego, CA: 29-38.

22. Ehleringer, J.R., Sage, R.F., Flanagan, L.B., and Pearcy, R.W. (1991). “Climate change and the evoloution of CPhotosynthesis.” J. of Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 95-99.

23. Aravena, R., and Wassenaar, L.l. (1993). “Dissolved organic carbon and methane in a regional confined aquifer: Evidence forassociated subsurface sources.” J. of Applied Geochemistry,8, 483-493.

24. Cerling, T.E., and Quade, J. (1993). “Stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in soil carbonates.” Swart, P.K., Lohman, K.C., Mckenzie, J., and Savin, S. (Eds.), Climate change in continental isotopic, Records, Vol. 78, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC.