Hydrogeological characterization of a carbonate aquifer using geophysical and geochemical approach: case of the Krachoua Formation in Tataouine area, Southern Tunisia

  • Mouez GouasmiaEmail author
  • Houyem Khorchani
  • Abdelkader Mhamdi
  • Ferid Dhahri
  • Mohamed Soussi
Original Paper


An integrated hydrogeological investigation involving geological surface data, well data (lithostratigraphical and piezometric data) and the vertical electrical sounding (VES) method was carried out in Tataouine area, Southern Tunisia to characterize the hydrogeology and the geochemistry of the Krachoua Formation aquifer. The electrical data were used to differentiate lithostratigraphic units and characterize their hydrogeological potentialities. Major elements contents within groundwater samples were assessed and some plots and diagrams have been established in order to investigate the hydrochemical properties of this aquifer and the origin of its mineralization. The Krachoua aquifer exhibits a general drawdown of the piezometric level from 2004 to 2015 reflecting a dramatic decrease in groundwater resources due to increased groundwater abstraction during the last decades. Flow directions shows that the recharge of this aquifer considered as a free aquifer is directly ensured by rainfalls over the outcropping fractured limestones. The geometry of the Krachoua Formation aquifer is tectonically controlled and structured in horst and graben features that impacted greatly the hydrogeology and the hydrodynamics of the area. Subsequent thickness and facies variations within this aquifer influenced the reservoir quality and the groundwater flows. The increased values of salinity to the northwest of the study area seems to be mainly related to the dissolution of the Upper Liassic gypsum of Mestaoua Formation which outcrops widely and can be dissolute easily by meteoric water and contaminate the Krachoua aquifer. This fact is also supported by the sulfated and calci-magnesian chloride facies of this aquifer related to the dissolution of evaporitic rocks (gypsum, anhydrite, and halite). However low salinity values are recorded within the zone where these evaporitic rocks are relatively deep.


Hydrogeophysical investigation Geochemical approach Carbonate aquifer Tunisia 



The authors are grateful to the Editors of the Arabian Journal of Geosciences who handled this manuscript and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive review and useful comments that improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mouez Gouasmia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Houyem Khorchani
    • 3
  • Abdelkader Mhamdi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ferid Dhahri
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mohamed Soussi
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Sciences of GafsaUniversity of GafsaGafsaTunisia
  2. 2.Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, UR11ES15 Sedimentary Environments, Petroleum Systems and Reservoirs CharacterizationUniversity of Tunis El ManarTunisTunisia
  3. 3.Faculty of Sciences of GabesUniversity of GabesGabèsTunisia
  4. 4.Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, Laboratory 3G (Geodynamics, Geo-digital and Georessources)University of Tunis El ManarTunisTunisia

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