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Evaluation of distributed recharge in an upland semi-arid karst system: the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, Middle East

Hughes, A. G., Mansour, M. M., Robins, N. S.
Hydrogeology journal 2008 v.16 no.5 pp. 845-854
aquifers, basins, computer software, highlands, karsts, limestone, models, runoff, semiarid zones, soil water deficit, spring, Middle East, West Bank
Assessment of recharge in a structurally complex upland karst limestone aquifer situated in a semi-arid environment is difficult. Resort to surrogate indicators such as measurement of spring outflow and borehole discharge, is a common alternative, and attempts to apply conventional soil moisture deficit analysis may not adequately account for the intermittent spate conditions that arise in such environments. A modelling approach has been made using the West Bank Mountain Aquifer system in the Middle East as a trial. The model uses object oriented software which allows various objects to be switched on and off. Each of the main recharge processes identified in the West Bank is incorporated. The model allows either conventional soil moisture deficit analysis calculations or wetting threshold calculations to be made as appropriate, and accommodates both direct recharge and secondary recharge. Daily time steps enable recharge and runoff routing to be calculated for each node. Model runs have enabled a series of simulations for each of the three aquifer basins in the West Bank and for the whole of the West Bank. These provide recharge estimates comparable to those prepared by earlier workers by conventional means. The model is adaptable and has been successfully used in other environments.