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Title (Primary) A multi-environmental tracer study to determine groundwater residence times and recharge in a structurally complex multi-aquifer system
Author Wilske, C.; Suckow, A.; Mallast, U.; Meier, C.; Merchel, S.; Merkel, B.; Pavetich, S.; Rödiger, T.; Rugel, G.; Sachse, A.; Weise, S.M.; Siebert, C.;
Journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Year 2020
Department CHS; ENVINF; CATHYD;
Volume 24
Issue 1
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T31;
Abstract Despite being the main drinking water resource for over five million people, the water balance of the Eastern Mountain Aquifer system on the western side of the Dead Sea is poorly understood. The regional aquifer consists of fractured and karstified limestone – aquifers of Cretaceous age and can be separated in Cenomanian aquifer (upper aquifer) and Albian aquifer (lower aquifer). Both aquifers are exposed along the mountain ridge around Jerusalem, which is the main recharge area. From here, the recharged groundwater flows in a highly karstified aquifer system towards the east, to discharge in springs in the Lower Jordan Valley and Dead Sea region. We investigated the Eastern Mountain Aquifer system on groundwater flow, groundwater age and potential mixtures, and groundwater recharge. We combined 36Cl/Cl, tritium and the anthropogenic gases SF6, CFC-12 and CFC-11, CFC-113 as dating tracers to estimate the young water components inside the Eastern Mountain Aquifer system. By application of lumped parameter models, we verified young groundwater components from the last 10 to 30 years and an admixture of a groundwater component older than about 70 years. Concentrations of nitrate, Simazine® (Pesticide), Acesulfame K® (artificial sweetener) and Naproxen® (drug) in the groundwater were further indications of infiltration during the last 30 years. The combination of multiple environmental tracers and lumped parameter modelling helped to understand the groundwater age distribution and to estimate recharge despite scarce data in this very complex hydrogeological setting. Our groundwater recharge rates support groundwater management of this politically difficult area and can be used to inform and calibrate ongoing groundwater flow models.
ID 22198
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=22198
Wilske, C., Suckow, A., Mallast, U., Meier, C., Merchel, S., Merkel, B., Pavetich, S., Rödiger, T., Rugel, G., Sachse, A., Weise, S.M., Siebert, C. (2020):
A multi-environmental tracer study to determine groundwater residence times and recharge in a structurally complex multi-aquifer system
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 24 (1), 249 - 267