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Hydrogeochemical Attributes and GIS Spatial Modeling in Determining Areas for Horizontal Expansion of Development Projects in East Uweinat, Egypt

Author(s): H.H. Elewa

Journal: Journal of Applied Sciences
ISSN 1812-5654

Volume: 12;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 702;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Egypt | binary-weighted suitability spatial modeling | Nubian sandstone aquifer system | geographic information system | western desert

East Uweinat is an important reclaimed area at the southern part of Western Desert of Egypt. The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) is the sole water source used for all purposes for the last three decades. Determining the priority areas available for horizontal expansion of development projects, depending on the hydrogeological characteristics of the NSAS, has become an essential task. The potentiometric maps of 1990s and 2008 indicated balanced levels in 1980 and 1990s, followed by an accelerated decline from 1990s to 2008. The selected hydrogeochemical attributes represented by the depth to water, aquifer saturated thickness, total dissolved solids and sodium adsorption ratio were integrated to perform a binary-weighted spatial suitability modeling (BSSM-WSSM) techniques to determine the priority areas for development and areas suitable for further horizontal expansion. The BSSM model pinpointed to a minor 1st priority area (1,041 km2) that occurs mostly in the intensively developed area which are characterized by groundwater heavy consumption and a major 2nd priority area (19,381 km2) which refers to a lower quality of the aquifer in terms of the given prioritization criteria. The WSSM identified three more priority classes subdivided from the 2nd priority class, namely, the 2nd (7,793 km2), 3rd (9,976 km2) and 4th (1,622 km2) priority subclasses. These priority subclasses represent the possible areas for development that are located to the N-S-SW parts of the study area. The distribution of aquifer transmissivity (T) and hydraulic conductivity (K) values gave high credibility to the results of the BSSM-WSSM model results.

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