Journal of hydrology vol:136 issue:1-4 pages:333-352
This paper demonstrates the implementation of a novel mathematical model to quantify subsurface inflows from various sources into the arid alluvial basin of the southern Arava Valley divided between Israel and Jordan. The model is based on spatial distribution of environmental tracers and is aimed for use on basins with complex hydrogeological structure and/or with scarce physical hydrologic information. However, a sufficient qualified number of wells and springs are required to allow water sampling for chemical and isotopic analyses. Environmental tracers are used in a multivariable cluster analysis to define potential sources of recharge, and also to delimit homogeneous mixing compartments within the modeled aquifer. Six mixing cells were identified based on 13 constituents. A quantitative assessment of 11 significant subsurface inflows was obtained. Results revealed that the total recharge into the southern Arava basin is around 12.52 x 10(6) m3 year-1. The major source of inflow into the alluvial aquifer is from the Nubian sandstone aquifer which comprises 65-75% of the total recharge. Only 19-24% of the recharge, but the most important source of fresh water, originates over the eastern Jordanian mountains and alluvial fans.