Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 1195–1211 | Cite as

Evaluation of groundwater dynamics and quality in the Najd aquifers located in the Sultanate of Oman

  • K. Al-Mashaikhi
  • S. Oswald
  • S. Attinger
  • G. Büchel
  • K. Knöller
  • G. Strauch
Original Article

Abstract

The Najd, Oman, is located in one of the most arid environments in the world. The groundwater in this region is occurring in four different aquifers A to D of the Hadhramaut Group consisting mainly of different types of limestone and dolomite. The quality of the groundwater is dominated by the major ions sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulphate, and chloride, but the hydrochemical character is varying among the four aquifers. Mineralization within the separate aquifers increases along the groundwater flow direction from south to north-northeast up to high saline sodium-chloride water in aquifer D in the northeast area of the Najd. Environmental isotope analyses of hydrogen and oxygen were conducted to monitor the groundwater dynamics and to evaluate the recharge conditions of groundwater into the Najd aquifers. Results suggest an earlier recharge into these aquifers as well as ongoing recharge takes place in the region down to present day. Mixing of modern and submodern waters was detected by water isotopes in aquifer D in the mountain chain (Jabal) area and along the northern side of the mountain range. In addition, δ2H and δ18O variations suggest that aquifers A, B, and C are assumed to be connected by faults and fractures, and interaction between the aquifers may occur. Low tritium concentrations support the mixing assumption in the recharge area. The knowledge about the groundwater development is an important factor for the sustainable use of water resources in the Dhofar region.

Keywords

Environmental isotopes Groundwater Najd aquifer Oman Recharge Water quality 

Supplementary material

12665_2011_1331_MOESM1_ESM.doc (96 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 97 kb)
12665_2011_1331_MOESM2_ESM.doc (316 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 317 kb)
12665_2011_1331_MOESM3_ESM.doc (82 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOC 83 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Al-Mashaikhi
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Oswald
    • 3
  • S. Attinger
    • 1
    • 4
  • G. Büchel
    • 4
  • K. Knöller
    • 5
  • G. Strauch
    • 1
  1. 1.Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR)SalalahSultanate of Oman
  3. 3.University of Potsdam, Institue of Earth SciencesPotsdamGermany
  4. 4.Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Institute of GeosciencesJenaGermany
  5. 5.Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZHalle/SaaleGermany

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