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Abstract

Linear correlation between the temperature and measured δ18Owater of Budapest thermal karst water system presents an opportunity to estimate both the temperature and δ18O of the depositing water if only the δ18Otravertine is known.

Our observations on several Hungarian groundwaters and travertines deposited recently from them resulted that δ18O data of travertines originating from cold karst water and thermal water of porous aquifer are close to the “experimental“ curve presented by Friedman and O'Neil (1977). Conversely, the calculated fractionation factors of thermal karst waters significantly deviate from the experimental curve following an “empirical-curve“ (R2 = 0.99) as: 1000*lnα = (2.76*106)/T2 − 1.31.

The empirical equations calculated by this “empirical-curve“ as Twater = (25 − δ18Otrav)/0.22 and δ18Owater = 0.186*δ18Otrav − 14.22 are usable only for the Budapest thermal karst regime and only for recent travertines. Extrapolation of these equations to the past and use them to estimate the deposition temperature of paleo-travertines needs detailed information of the paleoclimate and age of travertine.

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In the Buda Mts. (Hungary) several Pleistocene travertine outcrops are known. The subject of this paper is a stable isotope study on the Pleistocene travertine from Budakalász that was deposited on the slope of Monalovác Hill of the Buda Mts. The principal goal of this work is to define the depositional environment and related implications by studying the petrographical and microfacies features and C and O stable isotope compositions. The Budakalász travertine can be divided into two stratigraphic units. The lower part of the studied sections (approx. 15 m thick) consists of massive limestone, which represents a "smooth-slope" facies and has mean d13C and d18O values of 2.21‰ and -11.1‰ relative to V-PDB, respectively. Microbial shrub structures were also recognized in the lower part of the section, showing slightly higher d13C values (2.6-2.7‰) relative to the other samples.  The upper unit of the sections is composed of what was originally calcareous mud. The studied samples have low d13C values (~1.8‰) and notably higher d18O values (~-10.6‰) than the average d18O value of the lower part of the section. The samples from the upper part contain microsparitic cement as an indication of stagnant water environment with calm lacustrine sedimentation and pond facies. Based on our integrated petrographic and microfacies description and stable isotope study, the Budakalász travertine can be classified as an originally thermogene travertine.

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Abstract

The isotopic compositions of the Hungarian warm and cold water samples are spread in a wide range along the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL), which is a result of the significant change in the climate (mainly temperature) during infiltration (Last Glaciation and Holocene) and of the mixing process along the fault zone. The thermal karst water is isotopically lighter as it was infiltrated in a 7 to 9 °C cooler climate in the Ice Age. However, in the Denizli Basin isotopic composition of all of the thermal, lukewarm and cold waters varies in a relatively narrow range, with the exception of some warm waters whose d18O values have been shifted as a result of water-rock interaction.

Isotope data prove that all the waters in the Denizli Basin infiltrated in the Holocene under more or less the same climate, so these waters are young indicating much shorter transit time from the recharge to the discharge areas because of faster flow under the surface or shorter path of the subsurface flow.

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Acta Geologica Hungarica
Authors: Sándor Kele, Lászó Korpás, Attila Demény, Péter Kovács-Pálffy, Bernadett Bajnóczi, and Zsófia Medzihradszky

In the area of the town of Tata (Hungary) there are several Quaternary travertine outcrops, of which the Porhanyó Quarry is the best-exposed one. The travertine of the Porhanyó Quarry can be vertically divided into six units. Algal and other phytoclastic and phytohermal grainstone, boundstone and floatstone are the dominant microfacies. On the walls of the quarry carbonate vents and cones were detected; these forms are indicators of former spring activity at the bottom of a shallow lake. The lake, fed by thermal springs, was formed in a siliciclastic floodplain. The upwelling thermal water brought quartz and other detrital grains from the underlying Pannonian siliciclastic sediments to the surface, concentrating them in the vents. The three main phases of lacustrine evolution were interrupted first by a drying and flooding event, followed by a fluvial-eolian event and finally by eolian sedimentation. The oxygen isotope compositions of the vents differ from the values of vertical sections and slope samples, whereas the carbon isotope compositions show less variation. The different facies migrated during the evolution of the Tata Travertine Complex due to changes in morphology and flow direction. The integrated model of lake evolution suggests an upward cooling climatic trend, beginning with a humid Mediterranean climate in the early phase and closing with a cold, dry continental one in the late phase. The Tata Travertine Complex shows a marked d13C difference from the travertine occurrences of the Buda Mts. that is attributed to local effects. The ascending solutions at Tata may have infiltrated through organic-rich bedrocks and could have carried dissolved C enriched in 12C.

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Abstract

Travertine is quite a common formation in the area of Budapest (Hungary) indicating strong hydrothermal activity during the Pliocene and Quaternary. It covers former terraces of the Danube River and older geomorphologic horizons; thus, it is an important archive to date fluvial terraces and tectonic movements. Despite numerous investigations performed on these deposits, only few radiometric data are available so far and the absence of the exact timing information hindered paleoclimatic interpretation. The area of Gellért Hill consists mainly of Upper Triassic dolomite, but Quaternary travertine can also be found. In this study a detailed petrographic and stable isotope geochemical study of four travertine sites (1. Ifjúsági Park; 2. Számadó u. (Street); 3. Kelenhegyi u. (Street); 4. Somlói u. (Street)) of the Gellért Hill area is presented, along with analyses on the recent carbonate deposits of Gellért Hill and Sárosfürdő. The travertine of Ifjúsági Park and Számadó u. are spring cone deposits, while the travertine of the Kelenhegyi u. represents a shallow-water depositional environment. Based on the paleontological studies of Jánossy (in Scheuer and Schweitzer, 1988) the Gellért Hill travertine was thought to have been formed during the Lower Pleistocene; however, no radiometric age dating had been performed on these deposits prior our study. Our U/Th analyses yielded ages of 250±44 ky for the Ifjúsági Park travertine (220 m asl) and 180±49 ky for the Számadó u. travertine (195 m asl). These new U/Th ages are in contradiction with the previously assumed Lower Pleistocene age, implying gradual relative decrease in the paleokarst water-level and proving that the elevation of the individual travertine deposits not necessarily show their relative age. The uplift rates of Gellért Hill calculated from the U/Th age data and elevation of travertine occurrences range between 0.47 and 0.52 mm/yr, which is significantly higher than the uplift rates calculated for the Rózsadomb area (0.20 0.25 mm/yr; Kele et al., submitted). The difference in the incision rates between the individual sub-areas suggests that selective uplift was characteristic for the Buda Hills during the Middle Pleistocene; thus, up-scaling reconstruction of paleokarst waterlevel for the whole area from a given locality is not possible.

Oxygen isotope analyses of recent carbonate deposits of Gellért Hill, Sárosfürdő and Rudas Spa revealed that these calcites precipitated under non-equilibrium conditions, and the measured calcitewater oxygen isotope fractionation show the same positive shift relative to “equilibrium values” as was observed in the case of the recently-forming Egerszalók travertine (Kele et al. 2008). Assuming that the water of the paleo-springs of Gellért Hill derived from precipitation infiltrated during interstadial periods of the Pleistocene and considering non-equilibrium deposition (i.e. using the empirical calcite-water oxygen isotope fractionation of Kele et al. 2008), their calculated paleotemperature could range between 22 (±4) °C and 49 (±6) °C. Based on the δ18Otravertine differences the Ifjúsági Park and the Számadó u. spring cone type travertine was deposited from the highest temperature water, while from the lowest temperature water the travertine of Kelenhegyi u. was formed.

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