Mapping groundwater conditions in different geological environments in the northern area of UAE using 2D earth resistivity imaging survey

A. M. Ebraheem, M. M. Al Mulla, M. M. Sherif, O. Awad, S. F. Akram, N. B. Al Suweidi, A. Shetty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A water resources database was developed and used to characterize the geological and hydrogeological settings of groundwater aquifers in the northern part of the United Arab Emirates. An intensive 2D Earth Resistivity Imaging (ERI) survey was conducted in selected areas to assess the available groundwater resources and delineate the salt-water intrusion. Drilling information of the existing monitoring wells as well as their records of water table elevations and groundwater salinity were used to measure the horizontal and vertical variations in lithology, degree of saturation, and groundwater salinity and thus to improve the interpretation of ERI data. The results of the chemical analyses of water samples collected from the wells along with the 2D ERI survey profiles were used to obtain an empirical relationship between the inferred earth resistivity and the amount of total dissolved solids. This relationship was used along with the true resistivity sections resulting from the inversion of 2D ERI data to identify and map three zones of water-bearing formation (fresh, brackish, and salt-water zones) in the coastal areas. The results indicated that the depth to the fresh-brackish interface exceeded 50 m at the upstream of the wadies and was in the order of 10 m or less in the vicinity of shoreline. Because of the high resistivity contrast between dry and water saturated fractured rocks; this method was very successful in detecting water-filled fractures and cavities in the carbonate aquifer. The application of this method was unsuccessful in clayey aquifers as it was not possible to isolate lenses of gravel and/or saturated with saline or brackish water from the surrounding clayey materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1614
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • 2D Earth Resistivity Imaging survey
  • Seawater intrusion
  • UAE

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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