Overview of the Hydrogeology and Groundwater Occurrence in the Lake Tana Basin, Upper Blue Nile River Basin

  • Fenta NigateEmail author
  • Tenalem Ayenew
  • Wubneh Belete
  • Kristine Walraevens
Part of the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series book series (AESS)


The Blue Nile (Abay) River is originating in the Lake Tana basin where many perennial and seasonal streams feed the largest lake of Ethiopia (Tana). The basin is characterized by different volcanic formations covered by thick alluvial and residual Quaternary sediments at the center of the basin around Lake Tana. In this study, an attempt was made to outline the hydrogeology of the basin based on limited information from well lithologic logs and previous relevant works. The Lake Tana basin is considered as a potential area for surface water and groundwater development corridors. The hydrogeology and groundwater occurrence is complex due to tectonism and existence of different volcanic rocks covered with thick alluvial sediments at the center of the basin. The shallow aquifer systems in the middle of the basin from the alluvial sediments are tapped by local communities using shallow wells fitted with hand pumps. The volcanic aquifers are multi-layer and tapped from different volcanic layers. The latter are highly productive depending up on the degree of fracturing and weathering. In few cases, as in the case of Kola Diba area there are artesian wells. The groundwater system converges towards the center of the basin. The Lake Tana basin leaks groundwater to the adjacent Beles basin and through the Blue Nile outlet.


Abay River Groundwater occurrence Lake Tana Aquifer Northern Ethiopia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fenta Nigate
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Tenalem Ayenew
    • 2
  • Wubneh Belete
    • 3
  • Kristine Walraevens
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth Science and Blue Nile Water InstituteBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise (ADSWE)Bahir DarEthiopia
  4. 4.Department of Geology and Soil Science, Laboratory for Applied Geology and HydrogeologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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