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Application of WetSpass model to estimate groundwater recharge variability in the Nile Delta aquifer

An Erratum to this article was published on 01 August 2016


Long-term groundwater recharge from rainfall in the Nile Delta is needed as an input for integrated groundwater modelling in the Nile Delta aquifer for more accurate simulation. The main objective is to estimate the spatial and temporal variation of groundwater recharge from rainfall in the Nile Delta aquifer. Water and Energy Transfer between Soil, Plants and Atmosphere under quasi-Steady State (WetSpass) model parameters were identified for the Nile Delta based on the available meteorological data for the area collected in 1991 and 2000. The collected data were rainfall, temperature, wind speed and evapotranspiration. Geomorphological characteristics, such as soil type, topography, groundwater depth and slope, were also collected as input data for the WetSpass model. ENVI software was used to come up with land use classification based on available land cover images of the Nile Delta for 1972, 1984, 1990, 2000 and 2009. The WetSpass model was calibrated by comparing the simulated groundwater recharge with the calculated one by using the water balance equation model. The results indicated close agreement in groundwater recharge between the two model outputs with R 2 of 0.99 and 0.94, while the root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) were 4.86 and 9.39 mm for 1991 and 2000, respectively. The WetSpass model was then applied in respect of 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2010 for the purpose of validation. The overall RMSE and R 2 for the 6 years were 8.83 mm and 0.88, respectively. The results of the WetSpass calibrated model provide information to support integrated groundwater modelling. The results reveal that WetSpass works well in simulating the components of the hydrological balance in the Nile Delta.

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The first author would like to thank the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) for providing him with the financial support (PhD scholarship) for this research as well as the Egypt Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) for offering the facility and tools needed to conduct this work. This work was partially supported by JSPS Core-to-Core Program, B. Asia-Africa Science Platforms.

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Correspondence to Asaad M. Armanuos.

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Armanuos, A.M., Negm, A., Yoshimura, C. et al. Application of WetSpass model to estimate groundwater recharge variability in the Nile Delta aquifer. Arab J Geosci 9, 553 (2016).

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  • Hydrological processes
  • Groundwater
  • Recharge
  • Nile delta aquifer
  • WetSpass model