Articles | Volume 366
10 Apr 2015
 | 10 Apr 2015

Using geochemical investigations for determining the interaction between groundwater and saline water in arid areas: case of the Wadi Ouazzi basin (Morocco)

R. El Moukhayar, M. Bahir, N. Youbi, N. Chkir, H. Chamchati, and P. Caréra

Abstract. The characteristics of the Essaouira basin water resources are a semi-arid climate, which is severely impacted by the climate (quantity and quality). Considering the importance of the Essaouira aquifer in the groundwater supply of the region, a study was conducted in order to understand groundwater evolution in this aquifer. The Essaouira aquifer is a coastal aquifer located on the Atlantic coastline of southern Morocco, corresponding to a sedimentary basin with an area of nearly 200 km2.

The control of the fluid exchange and the influence of mixing zones between the groundwater and saline water was investigated by sampling from 20 wells, drillings and sources belonging to the Plio-Quaternary and Turonian aquifers.

It is hypothesized that groundwater major ions chemistry can be employed to determine the interaction between the groundwater and saline water (coastal aquifers). Groundwater samples examined for electric conductivity and temperature showed that waters belonging to the Plio-Quaternary and Turonian aquifers present very variable electric conductivities, from 900 μs/cm to 3880 μs/cm. Despite this variability, they are from the same family and are characterized by sodium-chloride facies. However, a good correlation exists between the electrical conductivity and chloride and sodium contents. The lower electrical conductivities are situated in the North quarter immediately to the south of the Wadi Ouazzi.