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Hydrogeological investigations of shallow groundwater aquifers in an arid, data-scarce coastal region (El Daba’a area, Northwestern Coast of Egypt)

Abstract

Hydrogeological investigations in arid regions are particularly important to support sustainable development. The study area, El Daba’a in northwestern Egypt, faces scarce water resources as a result of reported climate change that particularly affects the southern Mediterranean coast and increases stress on the local groundwater reserves. This change in climate affects the area in terms of drought, over-pumping and unregulated exploration ofgroundwater for irrigation purposes. The hydrogeological investigation is based on a multidisciplinary data-layer analysis that includes geomorphology, geology, slope, drainage lines, soil type, structural lineaments, subsurface data, stable isotopes, and chemical analyses. The study area contains Pleistocene and middle Miocene marine limestone aquifers. Based on lithology and microfacies analysis, the middle Miocene aquifer is subdivided into two waterbearing zones. The area is affected by sets of faults and anticline folds, and these structures are associated with fractures and joints that increase permeability and facilitate the recharge ofgroundwater. Stable isotope data indicate that groundwater of both the Pleistocene and middle Miocene aquifers is recharged by modern precipitation. The high salinity values observed in some groundwater wells that tap both aquifers could be attributed to leaching and dissolution processes of marine salts from the aquifers’ marine limestone matrix. In addition, human activities can also contribute to an increase in groundwater salinity. A future water exploration strategy, based on the results from the multidisciplinary data-layer analysis, is proposed for the area. The derived scientific approach is transferable to other arid coastal areas with comparable conditions.

Bibliography

Yousif, M., van Geldern, R., Bubenzer, O. (2015): Hydrogeological investigations of shallow groundwater aquifers in an arid, data-scarce coastal region (El Daba’a area, Northwestern Coast of Egypt). – In: Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 24, p: 159-179, DOI: 10.1007/s10040-015-1308-4

Authors Yousif, Mohamed and van Geldern, Robert and Bubenzer, Olaf
Type article
Title Hydrogeological investigations of shallow groundwater aquifers in an arid, data-scarce coastal region (El Daba’a area, Northwestern Coast of Egypt)
DOI 10.1007/s10040-015-1308-4
Journal Hydrogeology Journal
Year 2015
Volume 24
Pages 159-179
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