Groundwater-surface water interaction in Lake Nasser, Southern Egypt

M Elsawwaf, J Feyen, Okke Batelaan, M Bakr

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    A cross-sectional model, based on the two dimensional groundwater flow equation of Edelman, was applied at seven transects distributed over four geological cross sections to estimate groundwater heads and recharge from/or groundwater discharge to Lake Nasser. The lake with a length of 500 km and an average width of 12 km was created over the period 1964-1970, the time for constructing the Aswan High Dam (AHD). The model, constrained by regional-scale groundwater flow and groundwater head data in the vicinity of the lake, was successfully calibrated to timeseries of piezometeric heads collected at the cross sections in the period 1965-2004. Inverse modeling yielded high values for the horizontal hydraulic conductivity in the range of 6.0 to 31.1 m day-1 and storage coefficient between 0.01 and 0.40. The results showed the existence of a strong vertical anisotropy of the aquifer. The calibrated horizontal permeability is systematically higher than the vertical permeability (≈1000:1). The calibrated model was used to explore the recharge from/or groundwater discharge to Lake Nasser at the seven transects for a 40-year period, i.e. from 1965 to 2004. The analysis for the last 20-year period, 1985-2004, revealed that recharge from Lake Nasser reduced by 37% compared to the estimates for the first 20-year period, 1965-1984. In the period 1965-2004, seepage of Lake Nasser to the surrounding was estimated at 1.15×109 m3 year-1. This led to a significant rise of the groundwater table. Variance-based sensitivity and uncertainty analysis on the Edelman results were conducted applying quasi-Monte Carlo sequences (Latin Hypercube sampling). The maximum standard deviation of the total uncertainty on the groundwater table was 0.88 m at Toshka (west of the lake). The distance from the lake, followed by the storage coefficient and hydraulic conductivity, were identified as the most sensitive parameters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)414-430
    Number of pages17
    JournalHydrological Processes
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2014


    • Analytical solution
    • Groundwater/surface water interaction
    • Lake Nasser


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