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Title: Hydrochemical variation in the springs water between Jerusalem–Ramallah mountains and Jericho fault, Palestine
Authors: Khayat, Saed
Moeller, Peter
Geyer, Stefan
Marei, Amer
Abu Hilou, Fayez M.
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: The spatial and temporal changes of the composition of the groundwater from the springs along the Wadi Qilt stream running from the Jerusalem–Ramallah Mountains towards the Jericho Plain is studied during the hydrological year 2006/2007. The residence time and the intensity of recharge play an important role in controlling the chemical composition of spring water which mainly depends on distance from the main recharge area. A very important factor is the oxidation of organics derived from sewage and garbage resulting in variable dissolved CO2 and associated HCO3 - concentration. High CO2 yields lower pH values and thus under-saturation with respect to calcite and dolomite. Low CO2 concentrations result in over-saturation. Only at the beginning and at the end of the rainy season calcite saturation is achieved. The degradation of dissolved organic matter is a major source for increasing water hardness. Besides dissolution of carbonates dissolved species such as nitrate, chloride, and sulfate are leached from soil and aquifer rocks together with only small amounts of Mg. Mg not only originates from carbonates but also from Mg–Cl waters are leached from aquifer rocks. Leaching of Mg–Cl brines is particularly high at the beginning of the winter season and lowest at its end. Two zones of recharge are distinguishable. Zone 1 represented by Ein Fara and Ein Qilt is fed directly through the infiltration of meteoric water and surface runoff from the mountains along the eastern mountain slopes with little groundwater residence time and high flow rate. The second zone is near the western border of Jericho at the foothills, which is mainly fed by the undergroundwater flow from the eastern slopes with low surface infiltration rate. This zone shows higher groundwater residence time and slower flow rate than zone 1. Groundwater residence time and the flow rate within the aquifer systems are controlled by the geological structure of the aquifer, the amount of active recharge to the aquifer, and the recharge mechanism. The results of this study may be useful in increasing the efficiency of freshwater exploitation in the region. Some precautions, however, should be taken in future plans of artificial recharge of the aquifers or surface-water harvesting in the Wadi. Because of evaporation and associated groundwater deterioration, the runoff water should be artificially infiltrated in zones of Wadis with high storage capacity of aquifers. Natural infiltration along the Wadis lead to evaporation losses and less quality of groundwater.
Description: Moeller,Peter: Geyer,Stefan: Marei,Amer: Abu Hilo,Fayez:
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