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Volume :38 Issue : 146 2012      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Characterization and Evaluation of the Confined Limestone Aquifer

Auther : Prof. Fawzia M. Al-Ruwaih - Dr. Jasem M. AL-Hmoud - Mr. Zaid M. AL-Dhaferri

     Al-Sulaibiya field is considered as the largest groundwater well field producing brackish water from the Dammam aquifer. The areal distribution of the TDS trend of some wells showed an increase in TDS towards the N-E direction and the trend size reached to \approx 65 % in the eastern wells. However, this brackish groundwater is used mainly for irrigation, domestic purposes and blending with distilled water. The hydrochemistry of the groundwater of this field, was investigated and evaluated to recognize the prevailing geochemical processes in the aquifer, to determine the groundwater chemical and genetic types and to trace out the groundwater quality trends during the period of 1991-2005. Moreover, the source-rock deduction is carried out using the WATEVAL Program, and the chemical equilibrium of groundwater with respect to the minerals of aquifer matrix is assessed by calculating the saturation indices (S.I) using WATEQ4F. The collected groundwater chemical data were compiled, analyzed, plotted and interpreted using several computer programs such as SPSS, AQUACHEM, and Trend-Y-Tector, which have been utilized to achieve the objectives of the proposed study. The chemical analyses showed that the field is occupied by brackish groundwater whose salinity ranges from 3448 to 9460 mg/l. Moreover, it was found that the groundwater chemical properties of the study area are dominated by alkalies and strong acids, with the main groundwater chemical types being Na†2‡SO†4‡, CaSO†4‡, NaCl and CaCl†2‡. The main groundwater genetic types are NaHCO†3‡, MgCl†2‡ and CaCl†2‡. The chemical data revealed that the groundwater is exhibiting a simple dissolution or mixing process; in addition, to a reverse ion-exchange process. Generally, the groundwater exhibited an over-saturation with respect to calcite and dolomite and under-saturation with respect to anhydrite, gypsum and halite. Moreover, the P†CO†2‡ ranges between 3.95 x 10…-3‡ atm. and 5.65 x 10…-3‡ atm., which represents a deep close environment system. The application of the mass-balance technique indicates that ion-exchange, reverse ion-exchange, dissolution of gypsum, calcite precipitation (dedolomitization), and the carbonate weathering are the prevailing geochemical processes in the Dammam aquifer of Al-Sulaibiya field.
 

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