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Using GIS and Geostatistical Techniques for Mapping Piezometry and Groundwater Quality of the Albian Aquifer of the M’zab Region, Algerian Sahara

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Document pages: 27 pages

Abstract: The M’zab region is subject to an arid Saharanclimate where surface and sub-surface waters are of little importance. The Albian Aquifer, commonly called Continental Intercalary (CI), main component of North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS SASS), constitutes the mostextensive aquifer formation of the region. In our study area, the CI is identified, as a regional subset, as the Albian Aquifer of M’zab Region (AAMR). Itsgroundwater resources are considered the only source available to meet thegrowing needs of drinking water supply, agriculture and industry. This aquifer is heavily exploited by a verylarge number of wells (more than 750). Its supply is very low, so it is a very low renewablelayer. This requires periodic monitoring and control of its piezometric leveland its physico- chemicalquality. The objective of our study is to know the current state of thisaquifer, while studying the variation of its piezometry for the period 2010-2018, and also the chemical quality of its groundwater byanalyzing more than 90 samples over theentire study area. The application of geostatistics by kriging and the steps of analysis, modelling and calculation of semivariogram haveenabled us to draw up maps of the various hydrogeological and hydrochemical parameters.As a result, twelvethematic maps were gridded using Geostatistical tools of ArcGIS software. Thewater-level-change map showed a significant drop in the groundwater level overthe entire M’zabregion and especially around the major cities (Ghardaïa, Berriane, Metlili and Zelfana) with more than 8 meters. Chemical analyses of theAlbian groundwater in the study area show the dominance of evaporite facies (Cl--Na+-Ca2+) with lowconcentrations than the Algerian Standards for Drinking (ASD). All the waterquality indices (WQI) that have been mapped reveal that the groundwater sampleswere suitable for drinking and irrigation with a high quality of water locatedin the south of the study area.

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