Advertisement

Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 77–93 | Cite as

Elucidating the sources and mechanisms of groundwater salinization in the Ziz Basin of southeastern Morocco

  • Zineb Lgourna
  • Nathaniel Warner
  • Lhoussaine BouchaouEmail author
  • Said Boutaleb
  • Mohammed Hssaisoune
  • Tarik Tagma
  • Najat Ettayfi
  • Avner Vengosh
Original Article

Abstract

In the Ziz Basin, located in arid area in southeastern Morocco, surface waters are scarce and local populations are entirely dependent on groundwater resources for drinking and irrigation. In order to evaluate the main factors controlling the origin and salinization of groundwater resources, we have investigated the chemical and stable isotope compositions of groundwater and surface water in different areas in the Ziz basin, upstream and downstream from the Hassan Addakhil dam, which is the major man-made reservoir in the basin. A large variation in water quality was observed, specifically an increase in salinity from north (upstream to the reservoir with TDS ~ 460 mg/L) to south (downstream; TDS ~ 16,000 mg/L). In the northern portion of the basin, the low saline groundwater is composed primarily of Ca2+ and Mg2+ due to dissolution of carbonate formations in the High Atlas Mountains. In contrast, the major dissolved consequents of saline waters are Cl, SO4 2− and Na+, apparently due to dissolution of evaporite minerals (gypsum and halite). In some areas elevated nitrate contents imply anthropogenic contamination derived from local agriculture. The stable isotopes data (δ18O = −8.6 to −8.3 ‰ and δ2H = −55.7 to −53.8 ‰) indicate that the High Atlas Mountains, upstream of the reservoir constitute the major source of water to the Ziz Basin. Given that this arid basin is entirely dependent on groundwater resources, long-term salinization of groundwater in the Ziz Basin could lead to negative effects and reduction of the local agricultural productivity in addition to the degradation of drinking water quality in this region.

Keywords

Groundwater quality Isotopes Geochemistry Salinity Arid area Ziz Basin 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study is supported within the NATO Project (ESP.MD.SFPP 983,134) “Investigating salinity and radioactivity in water resources in Morocco”. The authors wish to express their gratitude to Hydraulic Agency of Guir-Ghris-Ziz Basin for their help throughout the project. Finally, we thank the two reviewers and the editor for their constructive remarks that significantly improved the quality of this paper.

References

  1. Ahmed MA, Abdel Samie SG, Badawy HA (2013) Factors controlling mechanisms of groundwater salinization and hydrogeochemical processes in the Quaternary aquifer of the Eastern Nile Delta. Egypt. Environ Earth Sci 68:369–394. doi: 10.1007/s12665-012-1744-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amharref M (1991) Contribution to the Hydrological study of the valley of the Ziz (province of Errachidia in the south east of Morocco) the respective effects of drought and the Hassan Addakhil dam on the downstream water resources. Thèse de Doctorat, Université de Besançon France. Num 1991BESA2034Google Scholar
  3. Ammary B (2007) Etude géochimique et isotopique des principaux aquifères du bassin Crétacé d’Errachidia et de la plaine de Tafilalet. Thèse de doctorat, Université Mohammed V, Faculté des sciences, Agdal. Rabat n° d’ordre 2376Google Scholar
  4. Bouabdellaoui Y, Michelot J L, Long A (1992) Hydrochemistry studies in Errachidia basin: application of environmental isotopic techniques and geochemical models in the characterisation of arid zone deep aquifer systems. In: Symposium on isotopes techniques in water resources management, IAEA, Vienna Google Scholar
  5. Bouchaou L, Hsissou Y, Krimissa M, Krimissa S, Mudry J (2005) 2H and 18O isotopic study of ground waters under a semiarid climate. In: Lichtfouse E, Schwarzbauer J, Robert D (ed) Environmental chemistry, green chemistry and pollutants in ecosystems. Springer, Berlin, pp 57–64. doi: 10.1007/3-540-26531-7_6
  6. Bouchaou L, Michelot JL, Vengosh A, Hsissou Y, Qurtobi M, Gaye CB, Bullen TD, Zuppi GM (2008) Application of multiple isotopic and geochemical tracers for investigation of recharge, salinization, and residence time of water in the Souss-Massa aquifer, Southwest of Morocco. J Hydrol 352:267–287. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.01.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bouchaou L, Michelot JL, Qurtobi M, Zine N, Gaye CB, Aggarwal PK, Marah H, Zerouali A, Taleb H, Vengosh A (2009) Origin and residence time of groundwater in the Tadla basin (Morocco) using multiple isotopic and geochemical tools. J Hydrol 379:323–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bouchaou L, Tagma T, Michelot J L, Boutaleb S, Massault M, Hsissou Y, Bouragba L, El Faskaoui M (2013) Isotopic Tracers to Study Relationship between Surface Water and Groundwater. In: Case of souss upstream catchment (Morocco). TECDOC, IAEA, Austria (in press)Google Scholar
  9. Bouhlassa S, Ammary B, Elyahyaoui A (2007) Environmental tritium measurements and lumped parameter modelling in the Tafilalet aquifer, south-east Morocco. Radiochim Acta 95:607–616. doi: 10.1524/ract.2007.95.10.607 Google Scholar
  10. CAG (1988) Geophysical synthesis of the Fès-Meknès and Errachidia-Boudnib basins (Morocco). PNUD/DTCD MOR 86/004 ProjectGoogle Scholar
  11. Cappy S (2006) Hydrological Characterization of the Upper Drâa Catchment: Morocco. PhD Thesis, Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences, University of Bonn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  12. Chaponniere A, Smakhtin V (2006) A review of climate change scenarios and preliminary rainfall trend analysis in the Oum erRbia Basin, Morocco. Working Paper 110 (Drought Series: Paper 8) Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI)Google Scholar
  13. Choubert G, Faure-Muret A (1962) Évolution du domaine atlasique marocain depuis les temps paléozoïques. Livre à la mémoire du Professeur Paul Fallot, Mém H S Soc géol, Paris, France 1:447–527Google Scholar
  14. Clark ID, Fritz P (1997) Environmental Isotopes in Hydrogeology. CRC Press Lewis Publishers, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  15. Craig H (1961) Isotopic variations in meteoric waters. Science 133:1702–1703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Direction de la Recherche et de la Planification de l’Eau (D.R.P.E.) (1984) Synthèse des données hydrologiques et des travaux exécutés dans le bassin sédimentaire d’Errachidia et Goulmima. Rapport interneGoogle Scholar
  17. DRH-GRZ (2008) Rapport d’élaboration du bilan hydrologique des bassins de Guir, Rhéris, Ziz et Maider ErrachidiaGoogle Scholar
  18. Du Dresnay R (1979) Jurassic sediments of the atlasic domains of Morocco. In: Symposium “Sedimentation of western European Jurassic” Association of French Sedimentologists (ASF) special publication 1:345–365Google Scholar
  19. El Ouali A (1999) Modalités d’alimentation et échanges entre aquifères de piémont en conditions climatiques arides. Cas des systèmes aquifères du Haut Atlas/bassin cretace d’Errachidia (Maroc). Thèse d’Etat, Université Mohamed V, Ecole Mohammadia d’Ingénieurs, RabatGoogle Scholar
  20. El Ouali A, Mudry J, Mania J, Chauve P, Elyamine N, Marzouk M (1999) Present recharge of an aquifer in a semi-arid region: an example from the Turonian limestones of the Errachidia basin Morocco. Environ Geolo 38(2):171–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Farid I, Trabelsi R, Zouari K, Abid K, Ayachi M (2013) Hydrogeochemical processes affecting groundwater in an irrigated land in Central Tunisia. Environ Earth Sci 68:1215–1231. doi: 10.1007/s12665-012-1788-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gibbs RJ (1970) Mechanisms controlling world water chemistry. Science 170:1088–1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hasnaoui MD, Ouazar D (2007) ISESCO Science and Technology Vision 3(4):13–22Google Scholar
  24. Andrew L. Herczeg and W. Mike Edmunds 2000: Inorganic Ions as Tracers. Environmental Tracers in Subsurface Hydrology. In: Peter G, Cook and Andrew L, Herczeg (ed). Kluwer Academic Publishers, p 31Google Scholar
  25. Joly F, Margat J (1955) L’évolution récente du réseau hydrographique dans la plaine du Tafilalt (Sud-Est marocain). Notes et Mémoires, Service Géologique, Maroc 123:59–72Google Scholar
  26. Jossen J A, Filali M J (1989) Southern slope of the central and eastern upper Atlas-northern rim of the Errachidia-Boudnib basin, Stratigraphical and structural synthesis. In: Contribution to the study of deep aquifers. PNUD Project MOR 86/004Google Scholar
  27. Lgourna Z, Warner N, Bouchaou L, Boutaleb S,Tagma T, Hsaissoune M, Ettayfi N, Vengosh A (2013) Investigation of groundwater salinity in the Ziz Basin, southeastern Morocco, by using hydrochemical and isotopic tools. Mineralogical Magazine, 77(5) 1594. DOI: 10.1180/minmag.2013.077.5.12. In: Proceeding abstract Goldschmidt conference 25–30 August 2013 Florence, Italia
  28. Margat J (1958) Les recherches hydrogéologiques et l’exploitation des eaux souterraines au Tafilalet. Mines et Géologie 4:43Google Scholar
  29. Margat J (1962) Mémoire explicatif de la carte hydrogéologique au 1/50000 de la plaine de Tafilalt. Notes et Mémoires, Service Géologique, Rabat, n°150 bis, pp 13–67Google Scholar
  30. McKenzie JM, Siegel DI, Patterson W, McKenzie DJ (2001) A geochemical survey of spring water from the main Ethiopian rift valley, southern Ethiopia: implications for well-head protection. Hydrogeol J 9:265–272. doi: 10.1007/s100400100134 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Michard A (1976) Eléments de Géologie marocaine. Notes et Mémoires, Service géologique de Maroc, pp 252–420Google Scholar
  32. Ouda B, El Hamdaoui A, Ibn Majah M (2004) Isotopic composition of precipitation at three Moroccan stations influenced by oceanic and Mediterranean air masses. TECDOC, IAEA, Vienna, vol 1453, pp 125–140Google Scholar
  33. Plummer LN, Busby RW, Hansaw BB (1990) Geochemical modeling of the Madison aquifer in parts of Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Water Resour Res 26:1981–2014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ruhard J P (1977) Le Bassin Quaternaire du Tafilalt. In : Notes et Mém Serv Géol, Maroc. Ressources en eau du Maroc, domaines atlasique et sud-atlasique, n°231:252–415Google Scholar
  35. Salameh E (2002) Sources of water salinities in the Jordan Valley area, Jordan. Acta Hydrochim Hydrobiol 29:329–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Smiler R (2005) Diagram. Avignon University, France, Laboratory of HydrogeologyGoogle Scholar
  37. Stichler W, Schotterer U (2000) From accumulation to discharge: modification of stable isotopes during glacial and post-glacial processes. Hydrol Process 14:1423–1438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Su CL, Wang YX, Pan YL (2013) Hydrogeochemical andI isotopic evidences of the groundwater regime in Datong Basin Northern China. Environ Earth Sci 70(2):877–885. doi: 10.1007/s12665-012-2176-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vengosh A (2003) Salinization and Saline Environments. In: Heinrich, Karl KT (eds) Treatise on Geochemistry. Pergamon, Oxford, pp 1–35 Google Scholar
  40. Vengosh A, Rosenthal E (1994) Saline groundwater in Israel: it’s bearing on the water crisis in the country. J Hydrol 156:389–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Vengosh A, Warner N, Jackson R, Darrah T (2013) The Effects of Shale Gas Exploration and Hydraulic Fracturing on the Quality of Water Resources in the United States. Procedia Earth Planetary Sci 7:863–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Warner N, Lgourna Z, Bouchaou L, Boutaleb S, Tagma T, Hsaissoune M, Vengosh A (2013) Integration of geochemical and isotopic tracers for elucidating water sources and salinization of shallow aquifers in the sub-Saharan Draa Basin, Morocco. Appl Geoch 34:140–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zineb Lgourna
    • 1
  • Nathaniel Warner
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lhoussaine Bouchaou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Said Boutaleb
    • 1
  • Mohammed Hssaisoune
    • 1
  • Tarik Tagma
    • 4
  • Najat Ettayfi
    • 1
  • Avner Vengosh
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Geology and Geo-Environment Laboratory, Faculty of SciencesIbn Zohr UniversityAgadirMorocco
  2. 2.Division of Earth and Ocean SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  4. 4.Polydisciplinary Faculty of KhouribgaHassan 1st UniversityKhouribgaMorocco

Personalised recommendations