TITLE

Quantifying regional groundwater flow between Continental Intercalaire and Djeffara aquifers in southern Tunisia using isotope methods

AUTHOR(S)
Trabelsi, Rim; Kacem, Abir; Zouari, Kamel; Rozanski, Kazimierz
PUB. DATE
July 2009
SOURCE
Environmental Geology;Jul2009, Vol. 58 Issue 1, p171
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Large-scale interaction between the Continental Intercalaire and the Djeffara aquifer systems in the southeast of Tunisia has been investigated with the aid of chemical and isotopic tracers. Two distinct groundwater types have been identified: (1) the Continental Intercalaire groundwater characterized by elevated temperatures (50–61.4°C), low δ18O (−8.4 to−7.87) and δ2H (−67.2 to−59) values and negligible radiocarbon content, both testifying its great age dating from the late Pleistocene period, and (2) the Djeffara groundwater with distinctly heavier isotopic composition (δ18O = −8.31 to −5.80, δ2H = −65.9 to −31.9). The Djeffara groundwaters reveal a distinct changes of physico-chemical and isotopic parameters near El Hamma Faults in the northwestern part of the Djeffara basin. These changes could possibly be explained by a vertical leakage from the Continental Intercalaire aquifer through El Hamma Faults. The mixing proportions inferred from stable isotope mass balance prove that the contribution of the Continental Intercalaire to the recharge of Djeffara aquifer is very significant and may reach 100% in the El Hamma region and in the northern part of Gabes. Isotope tracers strongly suggest that recent recharge to the Djeffara aquifer system is very limited. Its current yield, particularly in its central and northern parts can be maintained only thanks to large-scale underground inflow from the Continental Intercalaire aquifer system, which carries late Pleistocene palaeowater. Consequently, current exploitation of groundwater resources of the Djeffara aquifer has non-sustainable character.
ACCESSION #
41677384

 

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