Calculation of temperature and δ18O of depositing water by measured δ18O of recent travertines deposited from the Budapest thermal karst water

József Deák, Sándor Kele, István Fórizs, Attila Demény, Gyula Scheuer

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalCentral European Geology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2011



  • empirical equation
  • oxygen isotope fractionation
  • thermal karst water
  • travertine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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