Recharge areas and geochemical evolution of groundwater in an alluvial aquifer system in the Sultanate of Oman
A regional hydrogeochemical model was developed to evaluate the geochemical evolution of different groundwaters in an alluvial aquifer system in the Interior of Oman. In combination with environmental isotopes the model is able to extract qualitative and quantitative information about recharge, groundwater flow paths and hydraulic connections between different aquifers. The main source of water to the alluvial aquifer along the flow paths of Wadi Abyadh and Wadi Muaydin in the piedmont is groundwater from the high-altitude areas of the Jabal Akhdar and local infiltration along the wadi channels. In contrast, the piedmont alluvial aquifer along Wadi Halfayn is primarily replenished by lateral recharge from the ophiolite foothills to the east besides smaller contributions from the Jabal Akhdar and local infiltration. Further down gradient in the Southern Alluvial Plain aquifer a significant source of recharge is direct infiltration of rain and surface runoff, originating from a moisture source that approaches Oman from the south. The model shows that the main geochemical evolution of the alluvial groundwaters occurs along the flow path from the piedmont to the Southern Alluvial Plain, where dedolomitization is responsible for the observed changes in the chemical and carbon isotope composition in these waters.