Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 2

2
10008558
Impact of Interface Soil Layer on Groundwater Aquifer Behaviour
Abstract:

The geological environment where the groundwater is collected represents the most important element that affects the behaviour of groundwater aquifer. As groundwater is a worldwide vital resource, it requires knowing the parameters that affect this source accurately so that the conceptualized mathematical models would be acceptable to the broadest ranges. Therefore, groundwater models have recently become an effective and efficient tool to investigate groundwater aquifer behaviours. Groundwater aquifer may contain aquitards, aquicludes, or interfaces within its geological formations. Aquitards and aquicludes have geological formations that forced the modellers to include those formations within the conceptualized groundwater models, while interfaces are commonly neglected from the conceptualization process because the modellers believe that the interface has no effect on aquifer behaviour. The current research highlights the impact of an interface existing in a real unconfined groundwater aquifer called Dibdibba, located in Al-Najaf City, Iraq where it has a river called the Euphrates River that passes through the eastern part of this city. Dibdibba groundwater aquifer consists of two types of soil layers separated by an interface soil layer. A groundwater model is built for Al-Najaf City to explore the impact of this interface. Calibration process is done using PEST 'Parameter ESTimation' approach and the best Dibdibba groundwater model is obtained. When the soil interface is conceptualized, results show that the groundwater tables are significantly affected by that interface through appearing dry areas of 56.24 km² and 6.16 km² in the upper and lower layers of the aquifer, respectively. The Euphrates River will also leak water into the groundwater aquifer of 7359 m³/day. While these results are changed when the soil interface is neglected where the dry area became 0.16 km², the Euphrates River leakage became 6334 m³/day. In addition, the conceptualized models (with and without interface) reveal different responses for the change in the recharge rates applied on the aquifer through the uncertainty analysis test. The aquifer of Dibdibba in Al-Najaf City shows a slight deficit in the amount of water supplied by the current pumping scheme and also notices that the Euphrates River suffers from stresses applied to the aquifer. Ultimately, this study shows a crucial need to represent the interface soil layer in model conceptualization to be the intended and future predicted behaviours more reliable for consideration purposes.

1
10003691
Modelling of Groundwater Resources for Al-Najaf City, Iraq
Abstract:
Groundwater is a vital water resource in many areas in the world, particularly in the Middle-East region where the water resources become scarce and depleting. Sustainable management and planning of the groundwater resources become essential and urgent given the impact of the global climate change. In the recent years, numerical models have been widely used to predict the flow pattern and assess the water resources security, as well as the groundwater quality affected by the contaminants transported. In this study, MODFLOW is used to study the current status of groundwater resources and the risk of water resource security in the region centred at Al-Najaf City, which is located in the mid-west of Iraq and adjacent to the Euphrates River. In this study, a conceptual model is built using the geologic and hydrogeologic collected for the region, together with the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data obtained from the "Global Land Cover Facility" (GLCF) and "United State Geological Survey" (USGS) for the study area. The computer model is also implemented with the distributions of 69 wells in the area with the steady pro-defined hydraulic head along its boundaries. The model is then applied with the recharge rate (from precipitation) of 7.55 mm/year, given from the analysis of the field data in the study area for the period of 1980-2014. The hydraulic conductivity from the measurements at the locations of wells is interpolated for model use. The model is calibrated with the measured hydraulic heads at the locations of 50 of 69 wells in the domain and results show a good agreement. The standard-error-of-estimate (SEE), root-mean-square errors (RMSE), Normalized RMSE and correlation coefficient are 0.297 m, 2.087 m, 6.899% and 0.971 respectively. Sensitivity analysis is also carried out, and it is found that the model is sensitive to recharge, particularly when the rate is greater than (15mm/year). Hydraulic conductivity is found to be another parameter which can affect the results significantly, therefore it requires high quality field data. The results show that there is a general flow pattern from the west to east of the study area, which agrees well with the observations and the gradient of the ground surface. It is found that with the current operational pumping rates of the wells in the area, a dry area is resulted in Al-Najaf City due to the large quantity of groundwater withdrawn. The computed water balance with the current operational pumping quantity shows that the Euphrates River supplies water into the groundwater of approximately 11759 m3/day, instead of gaining water of 11178 m3/day from the groundwater if no pumping from the wells. It is expected that the results obtained from the study can provide important information for the sustainable and effective planning and management of the regional groundwater resources for Al-Najaf City.

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