Hydrogeochemical evolution and mineralization origin in a semi-arid shallow aquifer: a case study of the Barika area in northeast Algeria

Submitted: 11 January 2023
Accepted: 8 May 2023
Published: 28 June 2023
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Most Middle Eastern and North African regions are characterized by an arid and semi-arid climate. As such, the drinking water supply and management have become a challenging task for local and regional authorities. The Mio-Plio Quaternary aquifer of the Barika area is the only drinking and irrigation water reservoir in the region. The objective of this paper is to identify the origin and evolution process of the groundwater mineralization of this aquifer using major elements as indicators. To achieve this objective water samples were collected, from several boreholes drilled in the aquifer, in June 2018 and March 2019, and subsequently analyzed. The results obtained in terms of Gibbs plot, Piper, chemical correlation, and statistical analysis of chemical data identified the origins of groundwater mineralization. The dissolution of evaporated minerals, precipitation of carbonates, evapotranspiration, and ion exchange reactions have been identified as the primary processes of mineralization. The results of the physicochemical analysis showed that these waters consisted mainly of chloride, calcium sulfate, and magnesium facies types with a slight change of facies in some boreholes during the two sampling periods. This is due to the interactions with the-aquifer geology and to the water scarcity caused by climate change.

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Supporting Agencies

MGRE LABORATORY Batna 2 University

Tafrount, A., Drias, T., Chenaf, D., & Nafaa, B. (2023). Hydrogeochemical evolution and mineralization origin in a semi-arid shallow aquifer: a case study of the Barika area in northeast Algeria. Acque Sotterranee - Italian Journal of Groundwater, 12(2), 19–34. https://doi.org/10.7343/as-2023-624


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