Audio-Magnetotelluric Survey for Groundwater Investigation in the Al-Jaww Plain in Eastern Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

H. Saibi, M. Y. Ali, B. A. Cherkose, A. Alaran, S. Ullah, T. Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The United Arab Emirates (UAE), located in an arid climate zone with low rainfall, relies on shallow aquifers for freshwater. Understanding the depth and extent of such aquifers is crucial for meeting water supply needs. The UAE's hydrogeology is influenced by neighboring mountains in Oman. The Al-Jaww Plain in southeast of Al-Ain city is an essential groundwater source, characterized by a large, flat area of gravel and sand deposits from the Oman Mountains. This study aims to map groundwater aquifers in the Al-Jaww Plain by integrating the audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) method, seismic reflection profiling, and borehole data. AMT data were collected along an 11-km ENE–WSW profile and a 2D resistivity model was generated. The resulting model delineates three distinct geo-electrical zones from the surface to a depth of 5 km. First, a shallow layer with low resistivity (0–15 Ωm) represents the Quaternary and Pliocene aquifers, in addition to the Upper Cretaceous Simsima and Tertiary groundwater aquifer zone, extending to a depth of 1.5 km. Second, a moderately resistive layer (15–250 Ωm) is recorded beneath the first layer, corresponding to the Upper Cretaceous Aruma foreland basin sequence. Finally, a high-resistivity region (>250 Ωm) at depths exceeding 3 km is attributed to the allochthonous Hawasina thrust sheet, which is associated with Late Cretaceous obduction of the Semail ophiolite. These findings have practical implications for managing groundwater resources in Al-Ain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023EA003181
JournalEarth and Space Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • United Arab Emirates
  • aquifer
  • arid climate
  • magnetotelluric
  • seismic
  • water borehole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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