Groundwater modeling of the Al Haza Oasis

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The Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia, located in the central part of the Arabian Peninsula, is covered mostly by large deserts of rock and sand with low precipitation and a very arid climate. During the last 20 years, a continuous increase in groundwater extraction has taken place due to industrial and agricultural activities. As a consequence, local groundwater level has fallen dramatically in some areas of Saudi-Arabia, and free flowing springs in some oases became dry.

This thesis deals with the numerical modeling of groundwater flow in the Al-Haza Oasis catchment that is located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Overexploitation on the aquifer system in Al-Haza Oasis produced a decrease on groundwater level of 100 meters over the last 40 years.

 

The aquifer behavior of the Al Haza catchment area was analyzed in this research using a numerical finite difference model with a three dimension structure. Groundwater flow was simulated under consideration of transient boundary conditions dating from 10 000 years ago and was calibrated with measured head information. Additionally, flow results were verified with isotope information.

A simulation of a scenario of continuous extraction from the existing wells and the new Huni wellfield till the year 2030 was also modelled.