Hydrochemistry of a complex volcano-sedimentary aquifer using major ions and environmental isotopes data Dalha basalts aquifer, southwest of Republic of Djibouti
Aboubaker, M.; Jalludin, M.; Razack, M.
Environmental Earth Sciences 70(7): 3335-3349
In the Republic of Djibouti (Horn of Africa), fractured volcanic aquifers are the main water resources. The country undergoes an arid climate. Alluvial aquifers exist in the wadis (intermittent streams) valleys and, in relation with volcanic aquifers, form complex volcano-sedimentary systems. Due to increasing water demands, groundwater resources are overexploited and require a rigorous management. This paper is focused on the Dalha basalts aquifer, located in the Dikhil area (Southwest of Djibouti). This aquifer is of vital importance for this area. Hydrochemical data and isotopic tracers (<sup>18</sup>O and <sup>2</sup>H) were used to identify factors and phenomena governing the groundwater s mineralization. The Piper diagram shows complex water types. from multivariate statistical analyses highlight three water families according to their locations: (1) groundwater characterized by low ionic concentrations located at the wadis zones; groundwater characterized by moderate salinity and highly mineralized waters mainly flowing in the eastern and central part of the study area, in volcanic aquifers. from scatter plots, especially Na versus Cl and Br versus Cl, suggest that the origin of more saline waters is not from dissolution of halite. The ?<sup>18</sup>O and ?<sup>2</sup>H data indicate that the groundwater flowing in the alluvial aquifer is of meteoric origin and fast percolation of rainwater occurs in the volcanic aquifers. These findings provide a preliminary understanding of the overall functioning of this complex volcano-sedimentary system. Additional investigations (pumping tests, numerical modeling) are in progress to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of this system.