The Hydrogeology of Haghimas Karstic Massif (Eastern Carpathians, Romania).
Haghimas (or Hasmas)
Mountains lay in the area of Eastern Carpathians of Romania, like a
preponderant carbonate zone, far away from crowded living and industrial areas,
therefore far away from hazardous polluting environment. The reference points
of the whole area are Lacul Rosu Resort and
In the whole Haghimas massif area, important from karstic hydrogeological point of view are central and southern parts and from northern zone only areas where carbonate formations occur.
The main ridge of Haghimas Mountains includes peaks exceeding 1400 m, and the summit is Haghimasul Mare Peak (1790 m). In the eastern part of the massif a lower ridge occurs (Damucului Ridge), situated between longitudinal valleys of Damuc and Bicajel.
The relief appearance of the area is considerable affected by geological aspects. Thus, in the areas where limestone and dolomite occurs, the relief is abrupt, with high walls having debris or scree to the base, sometimes very good developed (The Mills of Piatra Ascutita Peak). But in the areas where the wildflysch formation is well developed the relief is mild with rounded ridges and frequent landslides.
The main affluents of
From climatical point of
Geological formations developed in the considerate area belong to two different tectonic units with overthrust rank: Bukovinic Overthrust and Transylvanian Overthrust of Haghimas. (Fig.1)
Fig.1 - Hydrogeological map of
(Geology after Sandulescu M., 1975), 1. Non-karstifiable deposits: Rr - Rarau Series; Tg - Tulghes Series; aa-bt - sandy limestone, th-v - marly limestone; br-al - wildflysch formation; vr+cm - conglomerates. 2. Carbonate deposits: T 1+2 - dolomite; th+ne - white and red limestone; 3. Watercourse; 4. Swallet; 5. Cave; 6. Pothole, 7. Karstic spring Q=1-5 l/s; 8. Karstic spring Q=30-250 l/s; 9. Gorges; 10. Geological boundary; 11. Fault; 12. Overthrust; a. Trei Fantani Spring; b. Cald Spring; c. Surduc Spring, d. Sugau Spring; e. Munticelul Cave; f. Peter Baci Pothole; g. Poiana Alba; h. Bicaz Gorges; i. Calului Stream Springs; j. Gropile Ghilcosului. Haghimas Mountains
Rarau Gneiss Series comprehends, on both flanks of Haghimas syncline, moderate grade metamorphic formations (micaschist with biotite and muscovite, paragneiss with biotite, quartz-feldspar gneiss with muscovite).
Tulghes Series. The low grade metamorphic formations belonging to Tulghes Series (phyllite, metatuff, black quartzite) occur in the eastern part of the area, in Damucului Ridge.
Triassic. The development of Triassic deposits is irregular on the both flanks of Haghimas syncline. On western flank and especially in the Lacul Rosu area the Triassic deposits have considerable thickness and are completely developed (the notable thickness has detrital Seissian and also carbonate Campilian-Anisian, represented by dolomite and dolomitic limestone). From the contrary, on the eastern flank only Anisian dolomite occurs.
Aalenian-Bathonian appears in Lacul Rosu area and is represented by sandy limestone.
Tithonic-Valanginian (The Lunca Strata) develops like a narrow band on the eastern flank of Haghimas syncline and from lithological poin of view is constituted by marly limestone and sandy limestone.
Barremian-Albian. The Lower Cretaceous deposits are represented by wildflysch formation (siltstone, claystone, marl, etc). This formation is one of the most characteristic formations for Bucovinic Overthrust, occupying large surfaces in Haghimas syncline area.
Transylvanian Overthrust (Haghimas Overthrust)
Tithonic-Neocomian. The main body of Haghimas Overthrust is constituted by a massif carbonate pile exceeding 600 m of thickness represented by massif oolitic limestone, massif coral red and white limestone occasionally with calcarenite aspect and fine micrite limestone.
The Post Tectonics Overlay
Vraconian-Cenomanian deposits are represented by Barnadu conglomerates and constitute a formation that transgrssive overlay both Haghimas Overthrust and Bucovinic Overthrust.
The Mesozoic formations
The whole body of karstifiable formations is separated into several blocks, bordered by impervious formations or by longitudinal and transversal faults. Each of these blocks is drained by karstic springs, located either at the contact between karstifiable and non-karstifiable formations or in the fault areas that cut the limestone.
The recharge of the aquifers located within the carbonate rocks is mainly provided by diffuse seepage of rainfall on the limestone and dolomite outcrops, but sometimes temporary swallets may appear.
In such settings occur the most important springs of considerate area, that will be described below. (Fig.1)
Trei Fantani Spring.
This spring appears on the
left bank of
The water springs from coral limestone of Tithonic-Neocomian age belonging to Haghimas Overthrust at its contact with impervious wildflysch formation. The discharge varies between 12 and 31 l/s, with the temperatures between 4.7 and 7oC.
Considering the time evolution for the main ions content and main chemical parameters for samples collected once and stored in the laboratory to be analyzed every second month (Fig.2) it may be noticed that after 6 month from sampling a significant decrease of all values (with more than 50% for Mg) had occurred.
Fig.2 - Trei Fantani Spring. The time evolution for the main ions content and main chemical parameters for spring water collected at 16.06.1992 and stored.
Cald Spring is located in
The spring occurs at the contact between Thitonic-Neocomian limestone belonging to Haghimas Overthrust and marly sandstone of Barremian-Albian wildflysch (Fig. 3). The limestone has a vertical cleavage (N62V/85NE) and fractures mainly following N20V/60NE and N70E/75SE directions.
Fig.3 - Hydrogeological cross section in Cald Spring area, 1. Tithonic-Neocomian fractured and karstified coral limestone; 2. Barremian-Albian wildflysch impervious formation; 3. Overthrust; 4. Temporary swallet; 5. Karstic spring; 6. Flow directions.
The discharge of this spring fluctuates between 175 l/s in September and 245 l/s in June. The temperatures of the water are between 4 and 6.5oC.
This maybe one of the most notorious springs in the area, being located in the Bicaz Valley Gorges, in the sector called Gatul Iadului, in the right side of the river, having only 1 m above river bed (relative altitude), and 800 m absolute altitude. There are a few synonyms for Surduc Spring like: Rece Spring, Mariei Spring, Regelui Spring, etc.
The water springs through 3 large tension gashes or fractures with positions oscillating around N10E/60NE value.
The discharge of this spring fluctuates around average value of 130 l/s with an average temperature of 6oC.
The Sugau Stream is a left
side affluent of
The average discharge of
this spring is 3.4 l/s, temperature varying between 8.5 and 9.5oC,
In the Calului Stream area
there are two water sources that spring from Campilian-Anisian dolomite (Fig.4). The discharge of both neighboring springs is 3-4
Fig.4 - Hydrogeological cross section in Calului Stream area, 1. Campilian-Anisian fractured, aquiferous dolomite; 2. T 2 white limestone; 3. Aalenian-Bathonian sandy limestone; 4. Barremian-Albian wildflysch impervious formation; 5. Fault; 6. Flow directions; 7. Karstic spring.
The absolute altitude of these springs is 1050 and 1105 m, respectively.
The recharge of these two springs is provided mainly by diffuse seepage on the dolomite areas.
The karstic phenomena
The exo-karst is really
well developed in the area of
Sometimes the large dolines (sinkholes), with temporary swallets occur, like in Poiana Alba area (Fig.3) and Gropile Ghilcosului area, as good. Ridges, towers (like Piatra Altarului and Piatra Singuratica), pillars, needles also frequently appear. The vertical walls are well represented in all gorges.
The endo-karst is rather
insufficiently represented. The most important cave in the area is Munticelul
In the main ridge of
Haghimas Mountains a prospecting with light mining works (galleries, pits) was
developed in the years 1980s, to delimitate the contour and quality of
limestone, forecasted to be used in cement industry. Today, these works and
their dumps are still visible, but fortunately for the integrity of the massif
the limestone is extracted in a large quarry, located downstream
General Hydrochemical Considerations
In the considered area, it may be noticed a correlation between quantities in reaction for main anions and cations for each spring and petrographical type of rock (limestone or dolomite) where the aquifers that discharge through these springs is located (Table 1).
Table 1 - Quantities in reaction, in percentage of milliequivalent per liter (meq/l), for underground waters in
. Haghimas Mountains
The waters emanated from
carbonate deposits of
The total hardness (measured in German degrease) is low, between 9.6 and 12.7, although the waters are coming from limestone and dolomite, having much lower values than expected.
Concluding this exposure it may be underlined that the waters of the springs described in this paper, with an accumulated flow of 0.3 m3/s fulfill all the chemical, bacteriological, radioactivity and pesticide content requirements of drinking water standards in order to be classified as still waters (flat uncarbonated waters).
DRAGOMIR G. P. (1993)-Studii hidrogeologice pentru evaluarea potentialului de ape plate din depozitele carbonatice ale Muntilor Haghimas. Arh. Prospectiuni SA, Bucuresti.
DRAGOMIR G. P. (2002)-Ape plate din izvoare carstice in Muntii Haghimas, Rev. EcoCarst Nr.3, Bucuresti.
SANDULESCU M. (1975)-Studiul geologic al partii centrale si nordice al Sinclinalului Haghimas (Carpatii Orientali), Anuar Inst. de Geol. si Geof. Vol. XLV, Bucuresti.