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Degradation of groundwater quality in coastal aquifer of Sabratah area, NW Libya

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Abstract
Overextraction of groundwater is widely occurring along the coast where good quality groundwater is at risk, due to urbanization, tourist development and intensive agriculture. The Sabratah area at the northern central part of Jifarah Plain, Northwest Libya, is a typical area where the contamination of the aquifer in the form of saltwater intrusion, gypsum/anhydrite dissolution and high nitrate concentrations is very developed. Fifty groundwater samples were collected from the study area and analysed for certain parameters that indicate salinization and pollution of the aquifer. The results demonstrate high values of the parameters electrical conductivity, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride and sulphate which can be attributed to seawater intrusion. The intensive extraction of groundwater from the aquifer reduces freshwater outflow to the sea, creates drawdown cones and lowering of the water table to as much as 30 m below mean sea level. Irrigation with nitrogen fertilizers and domestic sewage and movement of contaminants in areas of high hydraulic gradients within the drawdown cones probably are responsible for the high nitrate concentration towards the south of the region. Seawater intrusion and deep salt water upconing result in general high SO42- concentrations in groundwater near the shoreline, where localized SO42- anomalies are also due to the dissolution of sebkha deposits for few wells in the nearby sebkhas. Upstream, the increase in SO42- concentrations in the south is ascribed to the dissolution of gypsum at depth in the upper aquifer.
Keywords
Saltwater intrusion, Excessive pumping, Groundwater pollution, Gypsum dissolution, Sabratah, SEAWATER INTRUSION, SALTWATER INTRUSION, FRESHENING AQUIFER, QUATERNARY AQUIFER, NEOGENE AQUIFER, JIFARAH PLAIN, BELGIUM, WATER, SALINIZATION, TANZANIA

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Citation

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MLA
Alfarrah, Nawal, et al. “Degradation of Groundwater Quality in Coastal Aquifer of Sabratah Area, NW Libya.” ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol. 76, no. 19, 2017.
APA
Alfarrah, N., Reda, G. B., Bakundukize, C., & Walraevens, K. (2017). Degradation of groundwater quality in coastal aquifer of Sabratah area, NW Libya. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, 76(19).
Chicago author-date
Alfarrah, Nawal, Ghebremedhin Berhane Reda, Charles Bakundukize, and Kristine Walraevens. 2017. “Degradation of Groundwater Quality in Coastal Aquifer of Sabratah Area, NW Libya.” ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES 76 (19).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Alfarrah, Nawal, Ghebremedhin Berhane Reda, Charles Bakundukize, and Kristine Walraevens. 2017. “Degradation of Groundwater Quality in Coastal Aquifer of Sabratah Area, NW Libya.” ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES 76 (19).
Vancouver
1.
Alfarrah N, Reda GB, Bakundukize C, Walraevens K. Degradation of groundwater quality in coastal aquifer of Sabratah area, NW Libya. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES. 2017;76(19).
IEEE
[1]
N. Alfarrah, G. B. Reda, C. Bakundukize, and K. Walraevens, “Degradation of groundwater quality in coastal aquifer of Sabratah area, NW Libya,” ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol. 76, no. 19, 2017.
@article{8547482,
  abstract     = {Overextraction of groundwater is widely occurring along the coast where good quality groundwater is at risk, due to urbanization, tourist development and intensive agriculture. The Sabratah area at the northern central part of Jifarah Plain, Northwest Libya, is a typical area where the contamination of the aquifer in the form of saltwater intrusion, gypsum/anhydrite dissolution and high nitrate concentrations is very developed. Fifty groundwater samples were collected from the study area and analysed for certain parameters that indicate salinization and pollution of the aquifer. The results demonstrate high values of the parameters electrical conductivity, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride and sulphate which can be attributed to seawater intrusion. The intensive extraction of groundwater from the aquifer reduces freshwater outflow to the sea, creates drawdown cones and lowering of the water table to as much as 30 m below mean sea level. Irrigation with nitrogen fertilizers and domestic sewage and movement of contaminants in areas of high hydraulic gradients within the drawdown cones probably are responsible for the high nitrate concentration towards the south of the region. Seawater intrusion and deep salt water upconing result in general high SO42- concentrations in groundwater near the shoreline, where localized SO42- anomalies are also due to the dissolution of sebkha deposits for few wells in the nearby sebkhas. Upstream, the increase in SO42- concentrations in the south is ascribed to the dissolution of gypsum at depth in the upper aquifer.},
  articleno    = {664},
  author       = {Alfarrah, Nawal and Reda, Ghebremedhin Berhane and Bakundukize, Charles and Walraevens, Kristine},
  issn         = {1866-6280},
  journal      = {ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES},
  keywords     = {Saltwater intrusion,Excessive pumping,Groundwater pollution,Gypsum dissolution,Sabratah,SEAWATER INTRUSION,SALTWATER INTRUSION,FRESHENING AQUIFER,QUATERNARY AQUIFER,NEOGENE AQUIFER,JIFARAH PLAIN,BELGIUM,WATER,SALINIZATION,TANZANIA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {19},
  pages        = {23},
  title        = {Degradation of groundwater quality in coastal aquifer of Sabratah area, NW Libya},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/DOI: 10.1007/s12665-017-6999-5},
  volume       = {76},
  year         = {2017},
}

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