Characterization and assessment of groundwater resources using hydrogeochemical analysis, GIS, and field data in southern Wadi Qena, Egypt

  • Karem Moubark
  • Mohamed AbdelkareemEmail author
Original Paper


An integrated approach using hydrogeochemical analysis, remote sensing, GIS, and field data was employed to characterize the groundwater resources in southern Wadi Qena, Egypt. Various thematic maps showing topography, lineaments, wadi deposits, slope, and stream networks were combined through GIS analysis to discriminate groundwater potential zones on the valley floor. The resulting map classifies the area into five groups of groundwater potentiality from very high to very low zones, supported by the groundwater level, well locations, and by the results of previous geophysical studies. Thirty-seven groundwater well data were tested from the Quaternary and Nubian Sandstone aquifers and analyzed for physio-chemical parameters. Results of hydrochemical analysis show that water quality varies widely through the aquifers, and groundwater in the Quaternary aquifer shows the highest salinity values and a predominance of Na and Cl in water chemical facies. Overlay GIS maps of alkalinity (SAR and RSC) and salinity hazards (EC and Cl) of the Quaternary aquifer were prepared. The resulting maps show that samples do not present an alkalinity hazard in most areas but are potentially salinity hazard. Therefore, the water is fit for agricultural use with certain restrictions, but is not suitable for direct human consumption because it is either very hard or too saline.


Water resources GIS Groundwater potentiality Hydrochemical parameters Wadi Qena Egypt 



We thank the World Academy of Science (TWAS), Grant No. 17-044 for the support. We also thank Professor Fathy Abdalla, Geology Department South Valley University and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, which helped us to improve the manuscript.


  1. Abdalla F (2012) Mapping of groundwater prospective zones using remote sensing and GIS techniques: a case study from the Central Eastern Desert, Egypt. J Afr Earth Sci 70:8–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdalla F, Khalifa I (2013) Effects of phosphate mining activity on groundwater quality at Wadi Queh, Red Sea, Egypt. Arab J Geosci 6:1273–1282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abd El_Hameed A, El-Shayeb H, El-Araby N, Hegab M (2017) Integrated geoelectrical and hydrogeological studies on Wadi Qena, Egypt. NRIAG J Astron Geophys 6:218–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Abdel Moneim A (2005) Overview of the geomorphological and hydrogeological characteristics of the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Hydrogeol J 13(2):416–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Abdel Moneim AA (2014) Hydrogeological conditions and aquifers potentiality for sustainable development of the desert areas in Wadi Qena, Eastern Desert, Egypt. Arab J Geosci 7:4573–4591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Abdelkareem M (2017) Targeting flash flood potential areas using remotely sensed data and GIS techniques. Nat Hazards 85(1):19–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Abdelkareem M, El-Baz F (2017) Characterizing hydrothermal alteration zones in Hamama area in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt by remotely sensed data. J Geocarto Int (in press)Google Scholar
  8. Abdelkareem M, Ghoneim E, El-Baz F, Askalany M, Akawy A (2012) Groundwater prospect map of Egypt’s Qena valley. J Image Data Fusion 3:169–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Abdelkareem M, El-Baz F (2015) Analyses of optical images and radar data reveal structural features and predict groundwater accumulations in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt. Geoscience 8:2653–2666Google Scholar
  10. Abdel Moneim A, Seleem M, Zeid A, Abdel Samie G, Zaki S, Abu El-Fotoh A (2015) Hydrogeochemical characteristics and age dating of groundwater in the Quaternary and Nubian aquifer systems in Wadi Qena, Eastern Desert, Egypt. Sustain Water Resour Manag 1:213–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Abd El Monem M (2014) Evaluation of groundwater potential and proposed scenarios for development in the eastern desert of Egypt: (Case study; Wadi Qena). J Am Sci 10:207–2011Google Scholar
  12. Abd El-Razik TM, Razvaliaev AV (1972) On the tectonic origin of the Nile Valley between Idfu and Qena, Egypt. Egypt J Geol 16:235–244Google Scholar
  13. Aggour TO (1997) Impact of geomorphological and geological setting on groundwater in Qena-Safaga District-Central, Eastern Desert-Egypt, PhD, Ain Shams University, Cairo, EgyptGoogle Scholar
  14. Allam A, Saaf E, Dawoud M (2002) Desalination of brackish groundwater in Egypt. Desalination 152:19–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Awad WK (1981) Geophysical investigations for groundwater at some localities within Wadi Qena Eastern Desert, Egypt. In: 1st Annual Meeting Egyptian Geophysical Society, Egyptian Geophysical Society, Cairo, EgyptGoogle Scholar
  16. Babiker M, Gudmundsson A (2004) The effects of dykes and faults on groundwater flow in an arid land: the Red Sea hills, Sudan. J Hydrol 297:256–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Basher A (1999) Applications of geophysical techniques at New Qena City, Qena, Egypt. 229 ppGoogle Scholar
  18. College of Agricultural Sciences (2002) Irrigation water quality. The Pennsylvania state University, USA ( Education/Turgeon/ Case study/ Old Ranch/IrrWat Qual.html) 14.05 2002Google Scholar
  19. Conoco (1987) Geological map of Egypt, scale 1:500,000, sheet NG36NW Quseir-NG36NW Asyut, Egypt. The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, CairoGoogle Scholar
  20. Das S, Behera SC, Kar A, Narendra P, Guha S (1997) Hydrogeomorphological mapping in ground water exploration using remotely sensed data—a case study in Keonjhar District, Orissa. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 25(4):145–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. EGSMA (1981) Geological map of Egypt, scale 1: 2,000,000. The Egyptian Geological Survey and Mineral Authority, CairoGoogle Scholar
  22. EHCW (Egyptian, Higher Committee of Water) (2007) Egyptian standards for drinking and domestic water according to the Act 27/1978 in regulating of the public water supplies. Egyptian Governmental Press, EgyptGoogle Scholar
  23. Elewa H, Abu El-Ella M (2011) Numerical modeling for the Nubian aquifer development in Wadi Qena, Eastern Desert, Egypt. Egypt J Geol 55:105–125Google Scholar
  24. El Tahlawi MR, Farrag AA, Ahmed SS (2008) Groundwater of Egypt: an environmental overview. Environ Geol 55:639–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. El-Gohary F (2013) Integration of wastewater in the water resources of Egypt opportunities and challenges. First Egyptian-German Workshop on ‘Sustainable Water Technologies’Google Scholar
  26. El-Hussaini A, Ibrahim H, Bakheit A (1995) Interpretation of geoelectrical data from an area of the entrance of Wadi Qena, Eastern Desert, Egypt. J King Saud Univ 7:257–276Google Scholar
  27. Gheith H, Sultan M (2002) Construction of a hydrologic model for estimating Wadi runoff and groundwater recharge in the Eastern Desert, Egypt. J Hydrol 263:36–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gomaa MA, Aggour TA (1999) Hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical conditions of carbonate aquifers in the Gulf of Suez region. Assiut Sci Bul 28(2):191–214Google Scholar
  29. Gossel W, Ebraheem AM, Wycisk P (2004) A very large scale GIS based groundwater flow model for the Nubian Sandstone aquifer in eastern Sahara Egypt, northern Sudan, and eastern Libya. Hydrol J 12:698–713Google Scholar
  30. Hussien H, Kehew A, Aggour T, Korany E, Abotalib A, Hassanein A, Morsy S (2017) An integrated approach for identification of potential aquifer zones in structurally controlled terrain: Wadi Qena basin, Egypt. Catena 149:73–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Milewski A, Sultan M, Yan E, Becker R, Abdeldayem A, Soliman F, Abdel Gelil K (2009) A remote sensing solution for estimating runoff and recharge in arid environments. J Hydrol 373:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moubark K (2013) Environmental impact of groundwater rising level on some archaeological sites in Upper Egypt. Ph.D thesis, South Valley University, p.223Google Scholar
  33. Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) Technical Baseline Meeting (2006) IAEA RAF/8/036 in the frame of the IAEA/UNDP/GEF Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System Medium Sized Project, April 13, 2007Google Scholar
  34. O’ Callaghan J, Mark D (1984) The extraction of drainage networks from digital elevation data. Comput Vis Graph Image Process 28:323–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rashed M, Idris Y, Shaban M (2006) Integrative approach of GIS and remote sensing to represent the hydrological and hydrochemical conditions of Wadi Qena-Egypt. In: The 2nd International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environment, 26–29 November, Cairo, Egypt. Egypt: Research Institute for Groundwater, National Water Research CenterGoogle Scholar
  36. Robinson CA, Werwer A, El-Baz F, El-Shazly M, Fritch T, Kusky T (2007) The Nubian aquifer in southwest Egypt. J Hydrol 15:33–45Google Scholar
  37. Said R (1981) The geological evolution of the River Nile. Springer Verlag, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Said R (ed) (1990) The geology of Egypt, x + 734 pp. A. A. Balkema, RotterdamGoogle Scholar
  39. Sawyer CN, McCarty PL (1967) Chemistry and sanitary engineers, 2nd edn. McCraw – Hill, New York 518 ppGoogle Scholar
  40. Schurman HM (1956) Das Parkambrin der Arabischen Waste Aegyptens. Geol Rundsch 45:179–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sturchio NC et al (2004) One million year old groundwater in the Sahara revealed by krypton81 and chlorine-36. Geophys Res Lett:2004Google Scholar
  42. Sultan M, Wagdy A, Manocha N, Sauck W, Abdel Gelil K, Youssef AF, Becker R, Milewski A, El Alfy Z, Jones C (2008) An integrated approach for identifying aquifers in transcurrent fault systems: the Najd shear system of the Arabian Nubian shield. J Hydrogeol 349:475–488Google Scholar
  43. Surabuddin MM, Pandey AC, Garg RD (2007) Groundwater prospects evaluation based on hydrogeomorphological mapping using high resolution satellite images: a case study in Uttarakhand. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 36:69–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Taylor G, Oza M (1954) Geological survey of India. Bull Series B, No. 45, 29pGoogle Scholar
  45. Thorweihe U, Heinl M (2002) Groundwater resources of the nubian aquifer system NE-Africa. Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel, Paris, p 23Google Scholar
  46. Todd DK (1980) Groundwater hydrology, 2nd edn. John Wiley and Sons. Inc., New York, ISBN: 047187616X, p 535Google Scholar
  47. US Salinity Laboratory Staff (USSL) (1954) Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils, Agric, handbook 60, USDA. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  48. World Health Organization (WHO) (2008) Guidelines for drinking-water quality. In: Incorporating the first and second Addenda, vol 1, 3rd edn, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceSouth Valley UniversityQenaEgypt

Personalised recommendations