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Imaging the Geometry of the Kharga Basin (New Valley Oasis) and its Groundwater Capacity

Kharga Basin - Groundwater Capacity


Titre : Imaging the Geometry of the Kharga Basin (New Valley Oasis) and its Groundwater Capacity

Organismes NSF : Office Of Internatl Science &Engineering (OISE)

Durée : October 1, 2014 — September 30, 2017

This project supports a cooperative research project by Dr. Estella Atekwana of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma and Magdy Atya of the the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), Helwan, Egypt. They plan to study "Imaging the Geometry of the Kharga Basin (New Valley Oasis) and its Groundwater Capacity." The PIs will investigate the subsurface geometry of the Kharga Basin which hosts the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer (NSA). The NSA is likely to become and increasingly important source of fresh water for Egypt and a more thorough analysis is crucial to ensuring that this water resource is used effectively.
Many numerical groundwater models used to evaluate the groundwater potential of the NSA have relied on regional-scale geological investigations and did not consider the structural complexity of the NSA. This structural complexity is highlighted by borehole data that suggest that the thickness of the Mesozoic sedimentary section of the NSA in southern Egypt can vary between 600m and 0 m along a distance of <40 km. Accurate imaging of the basin’s geometry is critical to any effort to utilize the NSA groundwater ; a freshwater resource believed to be of fundamental importance to Egypt.
Currently 99% of Egypt’s 85 million population lives along the Nile Valley and Delta using the 55 billion cubic meters of fresh water discharged annually by the Nile River. However, this supply is likely to become less reliably due to the increasing demand by other countries upstream for a larger share of the Nile’s water and also the unpredictable consequences of global climate change on the river’s discharge. The Paleozoic-Mesozoic NSA, The majority of which appears to lie under Egypt but also stretches into Libya, Sudan and Chad, is thought to be the likely candidate for providing badly needed groundwater resource. The specific objectives of this project are to : (1) determine the subsurface geometry of the basin hosting the NSA underlying the Kharga Depression, (2) map and characterize the surface and subsurface geometry of the fault systems of this basin as potential conduits of groundwater flow, (3) develop a geoscientific GIS database that would aid in resource planning and management. These objectives will be accomplished by utilizing remote sensing data and geological investigations in association with geophysical surveys (seismic, gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic data) along E-W and N-S profiles for detailed subsurface imaging of the basin and associated aquifers, hence identifying potential groundwater accumulations. These data will also provide important constraints for the development of groundwater models that will quantify the availability of groundwater. Similar studies can be conducted at other oases to provide a more accurate inventory of available and sustainable water resources.
The research builds upon existing research collaborations between the US and Egyptian scientists at NRIAG and at OSU. The project will affirm an equal partnership, enhance intellectual collaboration and serve as a platform for the training of the next generation of globally-engaged scientists. The scientific input of the Egyptian institution and collaboration with the US institution will help establish an approach for long term strategic planning for sustainable resources management for the oases in the Western Desert. The study will integrate geological, geophysical and remote sensing information for water resources exploration with GIS-based mapping data The geophysics research, mapping and modeling efforts will also train students in skills that are relevant around the world as surface freshwater resources become more scarce.
The training of early career faculty and graduate students in international research from both Egypt and the US, and mentoring them to lead international, culturally diverse, and multidisciplinary research teams will be a significant benefit of this project. There will be specific opportunities for women and minority students to participate in international research by partnering with the NSF-funded Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program at OSU. The overall training and collaboration with LSAMP will help students realize the relevance of international research and will provide important opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to effectively live and work in an increasingly globalized world. Technology transfer will occur through peer reviewed publications, workshops, short courses and dissemination of project results at international science venues such as the Geological Society of Africa, American Geophysical Union and Geological Society of America.

Partenaire (s) : Estella Atekwana estella.atekwana (Principal Investigator) Jeffrey Byrnes (Co-Principal Investigator) Priyank Jaiswal (Co-Principal Investigator) Mohamed Abdel-Salam (Co-Principal Investigator

Sponsor  : Oklahoma State University 101 WHITEHURST HALL Stillwater, OK 74078-1011 (405)744-9995

Financement : $250,000.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 14 février 2017, mise à jour le 13 octobre 2017