Strontium isotopes as a tool for estimation of groundwater recharge and aquifer connectivity

Khadija Semhi*, Osman Abdalla, Rashid Al Abri, Talal Al Hosni, Ian D. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Aflaj waters and groundwaters hosted in limestones, ophiolite and alluvium of northern Oman were investigated for their strontium content and 87Sr/86Sr ratio. The main objective of this investigation is to identify different sources of recharge and to establish hydrological inter-aquifer connectivity. Most of the water seems to acquire its isotope signature from interaction with carbonate and evaporite rocks. Based on the correlation between 87Sr/86Sr and 1/Sr, the contribution of groundwater from both the Hajar Super Group (HSG) and ophiolite aquifers in addition to direct infiltration of running waters can be identified for the Aflaj samples. The relationship between 87Sr/86Sr and 1/Sr indicates aquifers' inter-connectivity and suggest that the ophiolite aquifer is recharged from the alluvium and HSG aquifers. Groundwater of the Tertiary aquifer is from: 1) mixture of groundwaters from the ophiolite, alluvium and HSG aquifers and 2) direct infiltration of rainwater and its interaction with evaporite rocks. Mixed waters between those from HSG and ophiolite aquifers is one source of recharge to alluvium aquifer. A mass balance for the ophiolite aquifer was calculated in a binary mixing using the Sr content and the 87Sr/86Sr ratio. The results indicates that about 85–98% of the groundwater of the ophiolite aquifer is recharged from HSG aquifer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGroundwater for Sustainable Development
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Aquifer connections and recharges
  • End-member
  • Groundwater
  • Oman
  • Ophiolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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