Salinity sources of Kefar Uriya wells in the Judea Group aquifer of Israel. Part 1 - Conceptual hydrogeological model

D. Avisar*, E. Rosenthal, A. Flexer, H. Shulman, Z. Ben-Avraham, J. Guttman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Yarkon-Taninim groundwater basin, the karstic Judea Group aquifer contains groundwater of high quality. However, in the western wells of the Kefar Uriya area located in the foothills of the Judea Mountains, brackish groundwater was locally encountered. The salinity of this water is caused presumably by two end members designated as the 'Hazerim' and 'Lakhish' water types. The Hazerim type represents surface water percolating through a highly fractured thin chalky limestone formation overlying the Judea Group aquifer. The salinity of the water derives conjointly from several sources such as leachates from rendzina and grumosols, dissolution of caliche crusts which contain evaporites and of rock debris from the surrounding formations. This surface water percolates downwards into the aquifer through a funnel- or chimney-like mechanism. This local salinization mechanism supercedes another regional process caused by the Lakhish waters. These are essentially diluted brines originating from deep formations in the western parts of the Coastal Plain. The study results show that salinization is not caused by the thick chalky beds of the Senonian Mt Scopus Group overlying the Judea Group aquifer, as traditionally considered but prevalently by aqueous leachates from soils and rock debris. The conceptual qualitative hydrogeological model of the salinization as demonstrated in this study, is supported by a quantitative hydrological model presented in another paper in this volume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2003


  • Aqueous leachates of rocks
  • Percolation through chimney-like systems
  • Salinization by deep brines
  • Sources of groundwater salinity


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