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 REI 3


The availability of sufficient fresh waters has become a limiting factor for human development becoming more critical in arid regions. Consequences of climatic changes leading to the scarcity and degradation of water resources include: (1) the increase of the ambient temperature; (2) decrease in the amount of precipitation and (3) rise in sea level.

 Environmental stable and radioactive isotopes, together with physical and geochemical data were used in the assessment of groundwater deterioration/salinization origin at Essaouira sedimentary basin, Morocco W Atlantic-coast. Groundwater mineralization occurs mainly related to: seawater intrusion; dissolution of diapiric structures and evaporation of irrigation water. The Miocene groundwater samples are dispersed, no clearly pointing to a mixing mechanism neither to dissolution process. However, the water samples from the shallow aquifer present strong correlated physical, chemical and isotopic parameters indicating the existence of chemical reactions (halite dissolution). Active recharge is occurring based on tritium content; the 18O fractionation factor with altitude indicates the recharge area of the deep aquifer should occur in the High Atlas Mountain, about 200 km from Essaouira. The apparent carbon-14 ages obtained vary from modern to 2.78 ka before present. The discrepancy between 3H and 14C content must call to the contribution of dead carbon from the carbonate minerals along the flow paths.


Contact persons:

Paula Carreira ()

Dina André ()



Bahir, M; Ouhamdouch, S.; Carreira, P.M.; Chkir, N.; Zouari, K. (2016) - Geochemical and isotopic investigation of the aquifer system under semi-arid climate: case of Essaouira basin (Southwestern Morocco). Carbonates Evaporites. DOI 10.1007/s13146-016-0323-4

Ouhamdouch, S.; Bahir, M.; Carreira, P.; Chkir, N.; Goumih, A.; Chamchati, H. (2016) - Climate Change Impact on Aquifer System of Essaouira Basin during the Past 4 Decades (Morocco). Open Journal of Modern Hydrology 6: 19-33.

Bahir, M.; Carreira, P.M.; Ouhamdouchc, S.; Chamchati, H. (2017) - Recharge conceptual model and mineralization of groundwater in a semi-arid region; Essaouira basin (Morocco). Procedia Earth and Planetary Science 17: 69-72. doi: 10.1016/j.proeps.2016.12.036

Ouhamdoucha, S.; Bahir, M.; Carreira, P.M. (2017) - Geochemical and isotopic tools to deciphering the origin of mineralization of the coastal aquifer of Essaouira basin, Morocco). Procedia Earth and Planetary Science 17: 73-76. doi: 10.1016/j.proeps.2016.12.038