The Nubian Sandstone aquifer in the central and northern Negev, Israel: delineation of the hydrogeological model under conditions of scarce data

E. Rosenthal, G. Weinberger, B. Berkowitz, A. Flexer, J. Kronfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Cl- content of ground water in the central and northern Negev ranges between 250 mg 1-1 in the Beer Sheva area and 1600 mg 1-1 near the Egyptian border, where the water is also thermal with high concentrations of sulphates and iron. During the last few years, groundwater resources in the heavily populated Beer Sheva area have become endangered by a continuing process of salinization. In the course of the present work, it was found that, in the study area, ground water flows through a multiple aquifer system including the Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Kurnub Group and the Upper Cretaceous Judea Group aquifers. Because of the absence of impermeable beds at the boundary between the two groups, brackish ground water flows from the Kurnub Group into the overlying Judea Group aquifer. Moreover, numerous faults discovered in the subsurface facilitate lateral inflow of Kurnub ground water into the Judea aquifer. By interpreting new lithostratigraphic data from the Kurnub Group and seismic surveys made in the study area, it is shown that the Kurnub aquifer extends far beyond the hitherto known boundaries and contains an additional estimated volume of 51 × 109 m3 of paleowater. The limiting factors of its exploitability are groundwater depth and salinity. The rational exploitation of the Kurnub paleowater may prevent salinization of the overlying Judea Group aquifer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-135
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume132
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1992

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