Hydrochemical and isotopic characterization of a complex aquifer system
Accepted: 28 March 2023
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A methodology was developed and applied to the Tindouf basin (south-western Algeria) to understand the hydrogeology of a complex aquifer system with a limited number of data, to identify the favorable areas for the design and building of new wells, and to know whether there is still current recharge of these aquifers. The principal components analysis (PCA), diagram of deuterium versus oxygen-18, and equilibrium diagrams Mg/Na and Ca/Na were the techniques used to combine different datasets in order to identify chemical and isotopic groups, which were in turn used to define the groundwater flow paths. In addition, on the basis of thermodynamic equilibrium, it is possible to define the chemical evolution of the Tindouf basin aquifer. The results of this study are consistent with the generally accepted hydrogeological conceptual model. The combination of the different methods made possible to define and and to characterise the main groundwater flow paths from their sources to the discharge zones. These flow paths are defined by water categories, which are represented by salinity and groundwater origin. This approach can be used to analyze aquifers characterized by a lack of data and can also be useful for studying other complex groundwater basins.
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