International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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Hydrogeology of Shallow Aquifers of Wadi el-Ghussein, Northeastern Jordan

Wael M. I. Al-Azaizeh

Al al-Bayt University, Mafraq, Jordan


The research aimed to better understand the hydrogeology of the alluvial shallow perched aquifers in Wadi el-Ghussein in Tulul al Ashaqif area of the northeast Badia of Jordan.

Many generations of local Bedouins have dug wells by hand in the wadi and exploited the available water, which helped to support their water requirements.  Recent studies have suggested that these aquifers are renewable, widespread and can be used as a water resource, provided that they are managed in a sustainable manner.  This requires a full understanding of the hydrology of the aquifer.
Several techniques were used to collect data needed to better understanding of the hydrological situation in Wadi el-Ghussein. Total station surveys were used to draw a detailed topographic map for the study area, and hydrometers were used to check the elevation of the groundwater, and to draw ground water contours directly.
Very low frequency geophysical equipment (VLF) were used to determine the lateral extents and depths to the groundwater level along different profiles of the wadi and under the basalt pavements where direct measurements were not available.  Samples of groundwater were collected for geochemical modeling and to check for the quality of the water. Analysis of the results of data led to determine the flow directions of water, which were confirmed by geochemical modeling.
The general groundwater flow direction is from outside the wadi (basalt pavement) towards the center of the wadi and from the NW towards SE along the course of the wadi. Within the wadi, there were clearly detected areas with recharge and discharge (towards deeper aquifers). Geochemical modeling confirms these conclusions. VLF data analysis also indicate, that lateral extents of water is limited to the wadi bed, except in limited areas such as meanders where groundwater extends under some points of the basalt pavement.

Water quality is close to the permissible Jordanian and World Health Organization (WHO) standards, and the plot of the chemistry of the sampled water on the Piper diagram led to it’s classification as carbonate water.