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Surface and subsurface conceptual model of an arid environment with respect to mid- and late Holocene climate changes

Engelhardt, Irina and Rausch, Randolf and Keim, B. and Al-Saud, M. and Schüth, Christoph (2013):
Surface and subsurface conceptual model of an arid environment with respect to mid- and late Holocene climate changes.
In: Environmental Earth Sciences, Springer-Verlag, pp. 537-555, 69, (2), ISSN 18666280, DOI: 10.1007/s12665-013-2303-5, [Online-Edition: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12665-013-2303-5],
[Article]

Abstract

The water demand in arid regions is commonly covered by groundwater resources that date back to more humid periods of the Pleistocene and Holocene. Within the investigated arid part of SE Saudi-Arabia information about climate, groundwater levels, and pumping rates are only available for regions where groundwater extractions occur at present-day. For the prediction of the impact of long-term climate changes on groundwater resources an understanding of the hydrogeological and hydrological past and the development of the aquifers is necessary. Therefore, all available information about hydrology and hydrogeology for the past 10,000 years BP were collected and compiled to a conceptual model of the aquifer development on the Arabian Peninsula since the last Ice-Age. The climatic history was displayed by changes in precipitation, temperature and recharge during the mid-S and late Holocene. The hydrogeological development is described by groundwater ages, sea level fluctuations, movement of the coastline, and the development of sabkhas. The most sensitive parameter to describe the development of aquifer system is recharge. Present-day recharge was calculated with the hydrological model system HEC-HMS accounting for current precipitation, temperature, wind, soil types, and geomorphology. With respect to changes in precipitation and temperature over the past 10,000 years the temporal and spatial variability of groundwater recharge was calculated using empirical equations valid for semi-arid and arid settings. Further inflow into the groundwater system results from surface water infiltration in wadi beds, while natural outflow from the groundwater system occurs by discharge to the Gulf, evaporation from sabkhas, and spring discharge. Backward predictions can be verified by sedimentological observations of palaeo-river systems and lakes indicating that groundwater levels reached temporarily the surface under wetter climate conditions and C-14 groundwater ages displaying groundwater residence times.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2013
Creators: Engelhardt, Irina and Rausch, Randolf and Keim, B. and Al-Saud, M. and Schüth, Christoph
Title: Surface and subsurface conceptual model of an arid environment with respect to mid- and late Holocene climate changes
Language: English
Abstract:

The water demand in arid regions is commonly covered by groundwater resources that date back to more humid periods of the Pleistocene and Holocene. Within the investigated arid part of SE Saudi-Arabia information about climate, groundwater levels, and pumping rates are only available for regions where groundwater extractions occur at present-day. For the prediction of the impact of long-term climate changes on groundwater resources an understanding of the hydrogeological and hydrological past and the development of the aquifers is necessary. Therefore, all available information about hydrology and hydrogeology for the past 10,000 years BP were collected and compiled to a conceptual model of the aquifer development on the Arabian Peninsula since the last Ice-Age. The climatic history was displayed by changes in precipitation, temperature and recharge during the mid-S and late Holocene. The hydrogeological development is described by groundwater ages, sea level fluctuations, movement of the coastline, and the development of sabkhas. The most sensitive parameter to describe the development of aquifer system is recharge. Present-day recharge was calculated with the hydrological model system HEC-HMS accounting for current precipitation, temperature, wind, soil types, and geomorphology. With respect to changes in precipitation and temperature over the past 10,000 years the temporal and spatial variability of groundwater recharge was calculated using empirical equations valid for semi-arid and arid settings. Further inflow into the groundwater system results from surface water infiltration in wadi beds, while natural outflow from the groundwater system occurs by discharge to the Gulf, evaporation from sabkhas, and spring discharge. Backward predictions can be verified by sedimentological observations of palaeo-river systems and lakes indicating that groundwater levels reached temporarily the surface under wetter climate conditions and C-14 groundwater ages displaying groundwater residence times.

Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Earth Sciences
Volume: 69
Number: 2
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arabian Peninsular,Arid hydrology,Climatic change,Groundwater recharge,Groundwater resources,Hydrological model
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science > Hydrogeology
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 12:27
DOI: 10.1007/s12665-013-2303-5
Official URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12665-013-2303-5
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