Hydrogeochemistry and pollution assessment of quaternary-tertiary aquifer in the Liwa area, United Arab Emirates

E. S. Al-Katheeri, F. M. Howari, A. A. Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the data on the hydrochemical characteristics and isotope chemistry of Liwa aquifer, which could be useful to clarify the hydrochemical facies and hydrogeological regime in the study area. Electric conductivity and total dissolved solid values show that the investigated water is slightly brackish, due to the effect of evaporation and the occurrences of evaporite rocks in the adjacent Sabkhas of Abu Dhabi. Major cations and anions arranged according to their decreasing concentrations are: Na? [Ca?2 [K? [Mg?2 and Cl- [HCO3- [SO4-2, respectively. As sodium is the dominate cation and chloride is the prevailing anion, hydrochemically the groundwater of Liwa can be classified as Na-Cl rich, predominantly chloridic. Ion concentrations increase towards the northeast and presumably coincide with the lithological sources of ions. Factors affecting the hydrochemistry of the groundwater of the investigated area include the effect of weathering of soil and rocks, evaporation and agricultural activities. Stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen show that the shallow aquifers contain a single water type that originated in a distinct climatic regime. This water type deviates from the local meteoric water line, as well as from the Eastern Mediterranean Meteoric Water Line, suggesting potential evaporation of recharged water prior to infiltration. The waters are poor in tritium, and thus can be considered generally as indication for recharge prior to 1952. The degradation of groundwater quality can be attributed to evaporation and agricultural practices in most cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-592
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrochemistry
  • Isotope
  • Liwa
  • Uae
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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