skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

This content will become publicly available on July 29, 2020

Title: Radiokrypton unveils dual moisture sources of a deep desert aquifer

Abstract

We report that in arid regions, groundwater is a vital resource that can also provide a long-term record of the regional water cycle. However, the use of groundwater as a paleoclimate proxy has been limited by the complex hydrology and the lack of appropriate chronometers to determine the recharge time without complication. Applying 81Kr, a long-lived radioisotope tracer, we investigate the paleohydroclimate and subsurface water storage properties of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer in the Negev Desert, Israel. Based on the spatial distributions of stable isotopes and the abundance of 81Kr, we resolve subsurface mixing and identify two distinct moisture sources of the recharge: one recent (<38 ky ago) from the Mediterranean and the other 361 ± 30 ky ago from the tropical Atlantic, both of which occurred under conditions of low orbital eccentricity comparable to that of the present. The recent recharge provided by the moisture from Mediterranean cyclones can be attributed to the southward shift of the storm track during the Last Glacial Maximum, and the earlier recharge can be attributed to moisture from the Atlantic delivered as tropical plumes under a climate colder than the present. Furthermore, the residence time of the latter reveals that tectonically active terrainmore » can store groundwater for an unexpectedly long period, likely due to strongly attenuated groundwater flow across the fault zones. Lastly with this tracer, groundwater can now serve as a direct record of paleoprecipitation over land and of subsurface water storage from the mid-Pleistocene and onward.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [2];  [1];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10]
  1. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States)
  2. Univ. of the Negev, Sede Boqer (Israel)
  3. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States); Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China)
  5. Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem (Israel)
  6. Univ. of Jerusalem (Israel)
  7. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States); Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China)
  8. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
  9. Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)
  10. Univ. of the Negev, Sede Boqer (Israel); Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem (Israel)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26); United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1560043
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 33; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; groundwater dating; moisture sources; paleohydroclimate; radiokrypton isotopes; subsurface water storage

Citation Formats

Yokochi, Reika, Ram, Roi, Zappala, Jake C., Jiang, Wei, Adar, Eilon, Bernier, Ryan, Burg, Avihu, Dayan, Uri, Lu, Zheng-Tian, Mueller, Peter, Purtschert, Roland, and Yechieli, Yoseph. Radiokrypton unveils dual moisture sources of a deep desert aquifer. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1904260116.
Yokochi, Reika, Ram, Roi, Zappala, Jake C., Jiang, Wei, Adar, Eilon, Bernier, Ryan, Burg, Avihu, Dayan, Uri, Lu, Zheng-Tian, Mueller, Peter, Purtschert, Roland, & Yechieli, Yoseph. Radiokrypton unveils dual moisture sources of a deep desert aquifer. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1904260116.
Yokochi, Reika, Ram, Roi, Zappala, Jake C., Jiang, Wei, Adar, Eilon, Bernier, Ryan, Burg, Avihu, Dayan, Uri, Lu, Zheng-Tian, Mueller, Peter, Purtschert, Roland, and Yechieli, Yoseph. Mon . "Radiokrypton unveils dual moisture sources of a deep desert aquifer". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1904260116.
@article{osti_1560043,
title = {Radiokrypton unveils dual moisture sources of a deep desert aquifer},
author = {Yokochi, Reika and Ram, Roi and Zappala, Jake C. and Jiang, Wei and Adar, Eilon and Bernier, Ryan and Burg, Avihu and Dayan, Uri and Lu, Zheng-Tian and Mueller, Peter and Purtschert, Roland and Yechieli, Yoseph},
abstractNote = {We report that in arid regions, groundwater is a vital resource that can also provide a long-term record of the regional water cycle. However, the use of groundwater as a paleoclimate proxy has been limited by the complex hydrology and the lack of appropriate chronometers to determine the recharge time without complication. Applying 81Kr, a long-lived radioisotope tracer, we investigate the paleohydroclimate and subsurface water storage properties of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer in the Negev Desert, Israel. Based on the spatial distributions of stable isotopes and the abundance of 81Kr, we resolve subsurface mixing and identify two distinct moisture sources of the recharge: one recent (<38 ky ago) from the Mediterranean and the other 361 ± 30 ky ago from the tropical Atlantic, both of which occurred under conditions of low orbital eccentricity comparable to that of the present. The recent recharge provided by the moisture from Mediterranean cyclones can be attributed to the southward shift of the storm track during the Last Glacial Maximum, and the earlier recharge can be attributed to moisture from the Atlantic delivered as tropical plumes under a climate colder than the present. Furthermore, the residence time of the latter reveals that tectonically active terrain can store groundwater for an unexpectedly long period, likely due to strongly attenuated groundwater flow across the fault zones. Lastly with this tracer, groundwater can now serve as a direct record of paleoprecipitation over land and of subsurface water storage from the mid-Pleistocene and onward.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1904260116},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 33,
volume = 116,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on July 29, 2020
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Evaluation of CMIP5 palaeo-simulations to improve climate projections
journal, July 2015

  • Harrison, S. P.; Bartlein, P. J.; Izumi, K.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2649

Tropical Plumes over Eastern North Africa as a Source of Rain in the Middle East
journal, December 2007

  • Rubin, Shira; Ziv, Baruch; Paldor, Nathan
  • Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 135, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1175/2007MWR1919.1

Fault seal prediction of seismic-scale normal faults in porous sandstone: A case study from the eastern Gulf of Suez rift, Egypt
journal, February 2010


Impacts of abrupt climate changes in the Levant from Last Glacial Dead Sea levels
journal, June 2013


A critical review of data on field-scale dispersion in aquifers
journal, July 1992

  • Gelhar, Lynn W.; Welty, Claire; Rehfeldt, Kenneth R.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 28, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/92WR00607

Toward a better understanding of palaeoclimatic regimes that recharged the fossil aquifers in North Africa: Inferences from stable isotope and remote sensing data
journal, April 2012

  • Abouelmagd, Abdou; Sultan, Mohamed; Milewski, Adam
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 329-330
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.02.024

The frequency and extent of sub-ice phytoplankton blooms in the Arctic Ocean
journal, March 2017

  • Horvat, Christopher; Jones, David Rees; Iams, Sarah
  • Science Advances, Vol. 3, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601191

A severe autumn storm over the middle-east: synoptic and mesoscale convection analysis
journal, June 2001

  • Dayan, U.; Ziv, B.; Margalit, A.
  • Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 69, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1007/s007040170038

On the assessment of aridity with changes in atmospheric CO 2
journal, July 2015

  • Roderick, Michael L.; Greve, Peter; Farquhar, Graham D.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 51, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015WR017031

Lower Groundwater 14 C Age by Atmospheric CO 2 Uptake During Sampling and Analysis : P.K. Aggarwal et al. Ground Water xx, no. x: xx-xx
journal, August 2013

  • Aggarwal, Pradeep K.; Araguas-Araguas, Luis; Choudhry, Manzoor
  • Groundwater, Vol. 52, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12110

Global aquifers dominated by fossil groundwaters but wells vulnerable to modern contamination
journal, April 2017

  • Jasechko, Scott; Perrone, Debra; Befus, Kevin M.
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 10, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2943

Field Degassing as a New Sampling Method for 14 C Analyses in Old Groundwater
journal, September 2017

  • Yokochi, Reika; Bernier, Ryan; Purtschert, Roland
  • Radiocarbon, Vol. 60, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1017/RDC.2017.64

The role of fall season tropical plumes in enhancing Saharan rainfall during the African Humid Period
journal, January 2016

  • Skinner, Christopher B.; Poulsen, Christopher J.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066318

Decadal trends in the east Atlantic-west Russia pattern and Mediterranean precipitation
journal, January 2005

  • Krichak, Simon O.; Alpert, Pinhas
  • International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 25, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/joc.1124

The impact of different glacial boundary conditions on atmospheric dynamics and precipitation in the North Atlantic region
journal, January 2012


New isotopic evidence for the origin of groundwater from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer in the Negev, Israel
journal, May 2007


Using 81Kr and noble gases to characterize and date groundwater and brines in the Baltic Artesian Basin on the one-million-year timescale
journal, May 2017

  • Gerber, Christoph; Vaikmäe, Rein; Aeschbach, Werner
  • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 205
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2017.01.033

North Atlantic Eddy-Driven Jet in Interglacial and Glacial Winter Climates
journal, May 2015


Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change
journal, December 2013

  • Schewe, Jacob; Heinke, Jens; Gerten, Dieter
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222460110

Fault zone hydrogeology
journal, December 2013


Tracer applications of noble gas radionuclides in the geosciences
journal, November 2014


Enhanced groundwater recharge rates and altered recharge sensitivity to climate variability through subsurface heterogeneity
journal, February 2017

  • Hartmann, Andreas; Gleeson, Tom; Wada, Yoshihide
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1614941114

Extreme precipitation events in the Middle East: Dynamics of the Active Red Sea Trough: ACTIVE RED SEA TROUGH DYNAMICS
journal, July 2013

  • de Vries, A. J.; Tyrlis, E.; Edry, D.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 118, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50569

On the ancient water of the upper Nubian sandstone aquifer in Central Sinai and southern Israel
journal, December 1972


Paleoclimate record in the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
journal, January 2014


Stable isotope survey of the fresh water occurrences in Israel and the Northern Jordan Rift Valley
journal, July 1972


An atom counter for measuring 81Kr and 85Kr in environmental samples
journal, August 2012


Synoptic-Scale Control over Modern Rainfall and Flood Patterns in the Levant Drylands with Implications for Past Climates
journal, June 2018

  • Armon, Moshe; Dente, Elad; Smith, James A.
  • Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 19, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-18-0013.1

Early Pleistocene Glacial Cycles and the Integrated Summer Insolation Forcing
journal, July 2006


Thermodynamic and Dynamic Mechanisms for Large-Scale Changes in the Hydrological Cycle in Response to Global Warming
journal, September 2010

  • Seager, Richard; Naik, Naomi; Vecchi, Gabriel A.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 23, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1175/2010JCLI3655.1

Robust Responses of the Hydrological Cycle to Global Warming
journal, November 2006

  • Held, Isaac M.; Soden, Brian J.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 19, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI3990.1

Mesoporous silicon sponge as an anti-pulverization structure for high-performance lithium-ion battery anodes
journal, July 2014

  • Li, Xiaolin; Gu, Meng; Hu, Shenyang
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5105

Nuclear Data Sheets for A = 81
journal, October 2008


Synoptic climatology of major floods in the Negev Desert, Israel
journal, January 2002

  • Kahana, Ron; Ziv, Baruch; Enzel, Yehouda
  • International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 22, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1002/joc.766

Moisture transport by tropical plumes over the Middle East: a 30-year climatology: Moisture Transport by Tropical Plumes over the Middle East
journal, October 2017

  • Tubi, Amit; Dayan, Uri; Lensky, Itamar M.
  • Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 143, Issue 709
  • DOI: 10.1002/qj.3170

Isotopic Variations in Meteoric Waters
journal, May 1961


Middle-Late Quaternary paleoclimate of northern margins of the Saharan-Arabian Desert: reconstruction from speleothems of Negev Desert, Israel
journal, September 2010


A sequential algorithm for testing climate regime shifts: ALGORITHM FOR TESTING REGIME SHIFTS
journal, May 2004