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Impact of Preboreal to Subatlantic shifts in climate on groundwater resources on the Arabian Peninsula

Engelhardt, Irina and Rausch, Randolf and Lang, U. and Al-Saud, M. and Schüth, Christoph (2013):
Impact of Preboreal to Subatlantic shifts in climate on groundwater resources on the Arabian Peninsula.
In: Environmental Earth Sciences, Springer-Verlag, pp. 557-570, 69, (2), ISSN 18666280, DOI: 10.1007/s12665-013-2362-7, [Online-Edition: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12665-013-2362-7],
[Article]

Abstract

A large-scale numerical flow and transport model was developed for the\backslashncentral-eastern arid part of the Arabian Peninsula. The model was\backslashnapplied to a region with freshwater resources dating back to more humid\backslashnperiods of the past, which are faced with overexploitation today. Model\backslashninflow was based on infiltration around wadi beds and groundwater\backslashnrecharge. Inflow was balanced by natural outflows, such as evaporation\backslashnfrom sabkhas, spring discharge, and discharge to the sea. Two models\backslashnwere developed: (1) a short-term present-day model to estimate effective\backslashnmodel parameters, and (2) a long-term model to study the development of\backslashnthe groundwater resources during the Mid- and Late Holocene and the\backslashnnatural response of the groundwater system to changes in climate.\backslashnHydraulic model parameters (hydraulic conductivity and specific storage)\backslashnwere assigned with respect to geological structures. Hydraulic\backslashnparameters were estimated with an inverse PEST model by calibrating\backslashnagainst observed depression cones cause by groundwater abstraction.\backslashnSensitivity analysis demonstrated that estimated model parameters were\backslashnassociated with a high uncertainty at a certain distance from\backslashnagricultural areas when calibration data were lacking. A long-term model\backslashnstarting 10,000 years BP was calibrated by spring discharge and\backslashnpalaeo-groundwater levels and validated using measured C-14 groundwater\backslashnages. The long-model predicted that groundwater levels adapted in\backslashnresponse to changes in precipitation. During the Mid-Holocene, which was\backslashncharacterized by an intensification of the monsoon season, groundwater\backslashnlevels increased by 10 m on the mainland within the shallow aquifers and\backslashnadapted quickly to higher recharge rates. The deeper aquifers were less\backslashnaffected by changes in climate. Along the present-day coastline, the\backslashngroundwater level rose by about 25 m due to the declined sea level in\backslashnthe Mid-Holocene. During this period, surface run-off was possible as\backslashngroundwater levels temporarily reached the ground surface. The natural\backslashngroundwater budget reacted sensitively to changes in climate. Between 10\backslashnand 3 ka, groundwater storage occurred. During the Late Holocene, at 3\backslashnka, natural depletion of the groundwater system began, which still\backslashnprevails today.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2013
Creators: Engelhardt, Irina and Rausch, Randolf and Lang, U. and Al-Saud, M. and Schüth, Christoph
Title: Impact of Preboreal to Subatlantic shifts in climate on groundwater resources on the Arabian Peninsula
Language: English
Abstract:

A large-scale numerical flow and transport model was developed for the\backslashncentral-eastern arid part of the Arabian Peninsula. The model was\backslashnapplied to a region with freshwater resources dating back to more humid\backslashnperiods of the past, which are faced with overexploitation today. Model\backslashninflow was based on infiltration around wadi beds and groundwater\backslashnrecharge. Inflow was balanced by natural outflows, such as evaporation\backslashnfrom sabkhas, spring discharge, and discharge to the sea. Two models\backslashnwere developed: (1) a short-term present-day model to estimate effective\backslashnmodel parameters, and (2) a long-term model to study the development of\backslashnthe groundwater resources during the Mid- and Late Holocene and the\backslashnnatural response of the groundwater system to changes in climate.\backslashnHydraulic model parameters (hydraulic conductivity and specific storage)\backslashnwere assigned with respect to geological structures. Hydraulic\backslashnparameters were estimated with an inverse PEST model by calibrating\backslashnagainst observed depression cones cause by groundwater abstraction.\backslashnSensitivity analysis demonstrated that estimated model parameters were\backslashnassociated with a high uncertainty at a certain distance from\backslashnagricultural areas when calibration data were lacking. A long-term model\backslashnstarting 10,000 years BP was calibrated by spring discharge and\backslashnpalaeo-groundwater levels and validated using measured C-14 groundwater\backslashnages. The long-model predicted that groundwater levels adapted in\backslashnresponse to changes in precipitation. During the Mid-Holocene, which was\backslashncharacterized by an intensification of the monsoon season, groundwater\backslashnlevels increased by 10 m on the mainland within the shallow aquifers and\backslashnadapted quickly to higher recharge rates. The deeper aquifers were less\backslashnaffected by changes in climate. Along the present-day coastline, the\backslashngroundwater level rose by about 25 m due to the declined sea level in\backslashnthe Mid-Holocene. During this period, surface run-off was possible as\backslashngroundwater levels temporarily reached the ground surface. The natural\backslashngroundwater budget reacted sensitively to changes in climate. Between 10\backslashnand 3 ka, groundwater storage occurred. During the Late Holocene, at 3\backslashnka, natural depletion of the groundwater system began, which still\backslashnprevails today.

Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Earth Sciences
Volume: 69
Number: 2
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISBN: 1866-6280
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arabian Peninsula,Climatic change,Groundwater resources,Sensitivity analysis,Upper Mega Aquifer System
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science > Hydrogeology
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 12:34
DOI: 10.1007/s12665-013-2362-7
Official URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12665-013-2362-7
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