The aim of this article is to assess the main factors influencing salinity of groundwater in the coastal area between El Dabaa and Sidi Barani, Egypt. The types and ages of the main aquifers in this area are the fractured limestone of Middle Miocene, the calcareous sandstone of Pliocene and the Oolitic Limestone of Pleistocene age. The aquifers in the area are recharged by seasonal rainfall of the order of 150 mm/year. The relationship of groundwater salinity against the absolute water level, the well drilling depth, and the ability of aquifer to recharge has been discussed in the present work. The ability of aquifer to locally recharge by direct rainfall is a measure of the vertical permeability due to lithological and structural factors that control groundwater salinity in the investigated aquifers. On the other hand, the fracturing system as well as the attitude of the surface water divide has a prime role in changing both the mode of occurrence and the salinity of groundwater in the area. Directly to the west of Matrouh, where the coastal plain is the narrowest, and east of Barrani, where the coastal plain is the widest, are good examples of this concept, where the water salinity attains its maximum and minimum limits respectively. Accordingly, well drilling in the Miocene aquifer, in the area between El Negila and Barrani to get groundwater of salinities less than 5000 mg/l is recommended in this area, at flow rate less than 10m3/hr/well. In other words, one can expect that the brackish water is probably found where the surface water divide is far from the shore line, where the Wadi fill deposits dominate (Quaternary aquifer), acting as a possible water salinity by direct rainfall and runoff.
Volume 129, 2020
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