Natural and anthropogenic factors affecting groundwater quality in the eastern region of the United Arab Emirates

Mohamed Mostafa Mohamed, Samy Ismail Elmahdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Groundwater contamination is a serious health and environmental problem in the eastern region of the United Arab Emirates. Factors affecting groundwater quality are known to be natural and anthropogenic, but the process through which it is being released is poorly understood. In this study, an attempt has been made to map and spatially correlate factors controlling groundwater quality using a combination of remote sensing and geographic information system technology. Factors, which might have spatial relation with groundwater quality, namely flow direction, host rock, land use and topographic slope, were selected as essential factors. Factor thematic maps were extracted from remote sensing data using deterministic eight-node and fuzzy logic algorithms. The obtained maps were correlated with groundwater data collected from groundwater wells. The results show that pollutants resulting from intensive agriculture and human activities and carbonate rocks in the Al Ain area are likely to contribute significantly to the degradation of groundwater quality. The results also show that the salinity in groundwater ranges from 100 mg/L at the foot of the Oman Mountain to 5,343 mg/L at Al Ain city.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7409-7423
Number of pages15
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 24 2015


  • Al Ain
  • GIS
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Land cover
  • Remote sensing
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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