Spatial and temporal characteristics of saline springs: Sea of Galilee, Israel

Alon Rimmer*, Shaul Hurwitz, Haim Gvirtzman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


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 from these springs is a mixture of two endmembers: deep-seated saline ground water and shallow, fresh circulating ground water. 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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)663-673
Number of pages11
JournalGround Water
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


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