Geologica Belgica

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Nawal AL FARRAH, Kristine MARTENS & Kristine WALRAEVENS

Hydrochemistry of the Upper Miocene-Pliocene-Quaternary aquifer complex of Jifarah plain, NW-Libya

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Mots-clés : seawater intrusion, overexploitation, upper aquifer, Jifarah Plain, Tripoli, Libya.

Abstract

Large increases in water demand with very little recharge have strained Libya’s groundwater resources resulting in serious declines in water levels and quality, especially along the Mediterranean coast where most of the domestic, industrial and agricultural activities are concentrated. The rapid economic expansion, coupled with sharp population growth, in the Jifarah Plain comprising Tripoli, NW-Libya, has created an immediate need for proper groundwater reserves, not only to meet the increasing population’s demands, but also to secure a contingency plan. The main problem is salinization of freshwater. Based on the available hydrogeological and hydrochemical information, the sources of salinization are identified. The overpumping for groundwater contributed to the deterioration of the water quality by seawater intrusion and exposing the deep saline water. Cl- is the major pollutant of the aquifer. Water samples were collected from 134 sampling wells in the study area and analyzed for the major cations and anions. The chemical results for the groundwater samples in the plain are classified according to the Stuyfzand groundwater classification system. The water type is mostly CaCl, NaCl and Ca/MgMix. These water types indicate that groundwater chemistry is changed by cation exchange reactions during the mixing process between freshwater and seawater. The majority of groundwater samples (80%) show a composition that is indicative of seawater intrusion.

To cite this article

Nawal AL FARRAH, Kristine MARTENS & Kristine WALRAEVENS, «Hydrochemistry of the Upper Miocene-Pliocene-Quaternary aquifer complex of Jifarah plain, NW-Libya», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], volume 14 (2011), number 3-4, 159-174 URL : http://popups.ulg.ac.be/1374-8505/index.php?id=3325.

About: Kristine MARTENS

Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.E-mail: Kristine.Martens @ugent.be

About: Kristine WALRAEVENS

Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.E-mail: Kristine.Walraevens@ugent.be

About: Nawal AL FARRAH

Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.E-mail: Nawalr2003@yahoo.com