Isotopic variations of oxygen and hydrogen in groundwater of carbonate aquifer in an arid environment

Ahmed A. Murad, Faris M. Mirghni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The stable isotopic characteristics were used together with the total chloride to assess changes in groundwater from recharge zones into the carbonate aquifer in an arid environment. The aquifer under study represents a major source of groundwater and thermal springs in Al- Ain city, which are located at the northern part of Jabal Hafit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The relationship between oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition of groundwater is established and is described by δD= 2.2δ18O−9.96. The lower slope and y-intercept of groundwater samples relative to the local meteoric waterline suggests that the isotopic enrichment is due to the evaporation of shallow groundwater after recharge occurs. The majority of the shallow groundwater samples have a negative deuterium excess (d-excess) which might be ascribed to high a degree of evaporation, while most of the groundwater samples from deep wells, have a positive value of d-excess which may be related to a low degree of evaporation. The δ18O values of the thermal waters suggest enrichment towards δ18O of the carbonate rocks because of the exchange with oxygen at higher temperatures. A possible mixing between thermal or hot water and shallow groundwater is evident in some samples as reflected by δD vs. Cl and d-excess vs. δ18O plots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1468
Number of pages10
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 12 2011


  • Deuterium excess
  • Dissolution
  • Evaporation
  • Isotopic enrichment
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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