Factors controlling the configuration of the fresh-saline water interface in the Dead Sea coastal aquifers: Synthesis of TDEM surveys and numerical groundwater modeling

Y. Yechieli, U. Kafri, M. Goldman, C. I. Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

TDEM (time domain electromagnetic) traverses in the Dead Sea (DS) coastal aquifer help to delineate the configuration of the interrelated fresh-water and brine bodies and the interface in between. A good linear correlation exists between the logarithm of TDEM resistivity and the chloride concentration of groundwater, mostly in the higher salinity range, close to that of the DS brine. In this range, salinity is the most important factor controlling resistivity. The configuration of the fresh-saline water interface is dictated by the hydraulic gradient, which is controlled by a number of hydrological factors. Three types of irregularities in the configuration of fresh-water and saline-water bodies were observed in the study area: 1. Fresh-water aquifers underlying more saline ones ("Reversal") in a multi-aquifer system. 2. "Reversal" and irregular residual saline-water bodies related to historical, frequently fluctuating DS base level and respective interfaces, which have not undergone complete flushing. A rough estimate of flushing rates may be obtained based on knowledge of the above fluctuations. The occurrence of salt beds is also a factor affecting the interface configuration. 3. The interface steepens towards and adjacent to the DS Rift fault zone. Simulation analysis with a numerical, variable-density flow model, using the US Geological Survey's SUTRA code, indicates that interface steep- ening may result from a steep water-level gradient across the zone, possibly due to a low hydraulic conductivity in the immediate vicinity of the fault.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dead sea brine
  • Flushing
  • Hydrological modeling
  • Salt-water/fresh-water relations
  • Time domain electromagnetic (TDEM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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