Groundwater vulnerability mapping of Qatar aquifers

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13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Qatar is one of the most arid countries in the world with limited water resources. With little rainfall and no surface water, groundwater is the only natural source of fresh water in the country. Whilst the country relies mainly on desalination of seawater to secure water supply, groundwater has extensively been used for irrigation over the last three decades, which caused adverse environmental impact. Vulnerability assessment is a widely used tool for groundwater protection and land-use management. Aquifers in Qatar are carbonate with lots of fractures, depressions and cavities. Karst aquifers are generally more vulnerable to contamination than other aquifers as any anthropogenic-sourced contaminant, especially above a highly fractured zone, can infiltrate quickly into the aquifer and spread over a wide area. The vulnerability assessment method presented in this study is based on two approaches: DRASTIC and EPIK, within the framework of Geographical Information System (GIS). Results of this study show that DRASTIC vulnerability method suits Qatar hydrogeological settings more than EPIK. The produced vulnerability map using DRASTIC shows coastal and karst areas have the highest vulnerability class. The southern part of the country is located in the low vulnerability class due to occurrence of shale formation within aquifer media, which averts downward movement of contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-93
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of African Earth Sciences
Volume124
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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Keywords

  • DRASTIC
  • EPIK
  • GIS
  • Groundwater vulnerability
  • Karst aquifers
  • Qatar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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