Linking CO2 degassing in active fault zones to long-term changes in water balance and surface water circulation, an example from SW Turkey

Uysal I. T. , Unal-Imer E., Shulmeister J., Zhao J., KARABACAK V., Feng Y., ...Daha Fazla

QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, cilt.214, ss.164-177, 2019 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 214
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.04.029
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.164-177


Calcite veins are commonly found at shallow depth (a few metres below the surface) in damage zones of active normal fault systems in southwest Turkey. Although earlier studies demonstrated the link between the vein formation and seismicity, the association of near-surface carbonate precipitation with climate-driven hydrological conditions (water table, amount of precipitation and evaporation, and water discharge) is poorly understood. In this study, using the U/Th dating method we investigate the timing of vein formation and the interrelationship between tectonic and climatic-related hydrological processes. Carbonate precipitation is interpreted to occur as a result of sudden pressure drops and CO2 release after earthquake-induced fracturing. Vein formation mostly occurred during glacial periods, which coincide with slow growth rates and higher oxygen isotope values of speleothems from the Eastern Mediterranean region. We relate these episodes to reduced winter rainfall due to the decrease in westerly flow in SW Turkey. These somewhat drier conditions influenced the chemical composition of circulating water, creating conditions conducive to carbonate precipitation and sealing of damage zones. These conditions also facilitated CO2 accumulation and overpressure build-up in the rupture zones. Failure of the faults resulted in the release of large volumes of CO2-rich fluids and the generation of shallow carbonate veins. It is proposed that during phases of increased winter rainfall CO2 is advected to the surface and discharged as passive degassing when meteoric water circulation is enhanced. While regional tectonics is the ultimate driver of fault activity and fracture formation, climate-driven near-surface hydrological changes may have played an important role in modulating CO2-rich fluid circulation and surface discharge. Crown Copyright (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.