Hydrochemical, stable isotopic (18O and 2H) and thermal infrared data of LANDSAT 5 TM for sea surface temperature anomalies have been used to determine the extent and spatial variation of salinization in coastal and submarine karstic groundwater discharges in the Gökova Bay area, located in the SW Turkey. The bay is an active graben extending in an east–west direction. An artesian aquifer in the eastern tidal plain is the only source of fresh groundwater, whereas Tertiary and Mesozoic carbonates contacting with sea along the northern coastline provide abundant but saline water. Physical properties, major ion chemistry and stable isotope composition indicate a westward increase in the salinity of the karstic springs. The temporal variation of salinity in groundwater is either related to variations in sea level or in seasonal recharge rates, while some springs have time-invariant salinity. Submarine groundwater discharges were determined successfully from satellite images and verified by ground measurements of pH, temperature and electrical conductivity. Some of these discharges are also characterized by the existence of a halocline, as observed during Scuba diving. The westward-increasing salinity appears to be related to decreasing groundwater discharge in this direction.