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  • Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture 12 (2018) 798-809 doi: 10.17265/1934-7359/2018.11.003

    Assessment of Groundwater Vulnerability to Pollution Using VLDA and COP Models in Halabja Saidsadiq Iraq

    Twana O. Abdullah1, 2, Salahalddin S. Ali3, 4, Nadhir A. Al-Ansari2 and Sven Knutsson2 1. Groundwater Directorate of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, NE 46001, Iraq

    2. Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources and Engineering, Division of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering,

    Lulea University of Technology, Lulea 971 87, Sweden

    3. Department of Geology, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, NE 46001, Iraq

    4. Komar University of Science and Technology, Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan Region, 46001, Iraq

    Abstract: Groundwater aquifer in the HSB (Halabja and Saidsadiq Basin) is considered being one of the most important aquifers in terms of water supplying in Kurdistan Region, NE of Iraq. The growing of economics, irrigation and agricultural activities inside the basin makes it of the main essentials to the region. Therefore, pollution of groundwater is of specific worry as groundwater resources are the principal source of water for drinking, agriculture, irrigation and industrial activities. Thus, the best and practical arrangement is to keep the pollution of groundwater through. The current study aims at the evaluation of the vulnerability of groundwater aquifers of the study area. Two models were applied, to be specific VLDA and COP to develop maps of groundwater vulnerability for contamination. The VLDA model classified the area into four classes of vulnerability with each covered area: low (2%), moderate (44%), high (53%) and very high (1%). While four vulnerability classes were accomplished dependent on COP model including very low, low, moderate and high vulnerability classes with coverage areas of 1%, 37%, 2% and 60% respectively. To confirm the suitability of each map for assessment of groundwater vulnerability in the area, it required to be validated of the theoretical sympathetic of current hydrogeological conditions. In this study, groundwater age evaluated utilizing tritium isotopes investigation and applied it to validate the vulnerability results. Based on this validation, the outcome exhibits that the vulnerability classes acquired utilizing VLDA model are more predictable contrasted with the COP model. Key words: Vulnerability, VLDA, COP, HSB.

    1. Introduction

    HSB (Halabja and Saidsadiq Basin) is considered to be one of the most important basins in Kurdistan Region, NE of Iraq, in terms of groundwater aquifers. The concentration of economic, agricultural and social activities within the basin makes it of prime significance to the region. Exhaustive agricultural activities are extensive and located close to groundwater wells, which pose imminent threats to these resources. Moreover, the authoritative structure of Halabja has been changed from a district to

    Corresponding author: Nadhir A. Al-Ansari, professor,

    research fields: water resources and environment.

    governorate in March 2014; this will improve the start of more economic improvement and progression. In perspective of these progressions, there is an expansion of the quantities of human making a beeline for live in this basin and its surrounding areas. This is forcing a developing interest in water which has set significant weights on water resources. Therefore, groundwater contamination is of particular concern as groundwater resources are the principal source of water for drinking, agriculture, irrigation and industrial activities.

    Groundwater vulnerability is evaluating the ability of pollutant to transport from the earth surface to reach a productive aquifer. The vulnerability studies


  • Ass

    can supply working on environment groundwater the reservoi such as DR etc. These form of nu negotiation hydrogeolog

    Different previously important t model is r for the area.

    Fig. 1 Locat

    sessment of

    precious in n preventing t [1]. To sim r condition a irs, several m

    RASTIC, VLD different me

    umerical exc of the diff

    gical system [ vulnerabili

    for the stud to confirm reflecting th So the main

    tion map of stu


    nformation ab further dete

    mplify the iden and to resist methods wer DA, COP, G

    ethods are of cerpt system fferent factor [2]. ity models died area; w the comput e real vuln objective of

    udy basin.

    r Vulnerabilit Saidsa

    bout stakeho erioration of ntification of the pollutant re recommen

    GOD, SINTA ffered under

    ms based on rs affecting

    were app while it is v ted vulnerab nerability sys

    the current st

    ty to Pollution adiq Basin, Ir

    older f the f the ts in nded ACS, r the

    the the

    plied very

    bility stem tudy

    is to diff sele


    T of latit 45° area pop is d Hal App area

    n Using VLDA raq

    o compare the ferent models ect more sens

    Study Area

    The study ba Iraq, geogra tude 35°00′0

    °36′00′′ and 4 a is about pulation of ea divided into labja-Khurma proximately a due to its su

    A and COP M

    e achieved vu s namely VLD sible model to

    sin is located aphically it 0′′ and 35°36 46°12′00′′ E (

    1,278 squa arly 2015 of a

    two sub-bas al and Sa 57% of the

    uitability for a

    Models in Hala

    ulnerability m DA and COP o be applied f

    d in the north is located

    6′00′′ N and t (Fig. 1). The

    uare kilomet about 190,72 sins by Ali [ aid Sadiq studied area agriculture [4

    abja 799

    map from two P, in order to for the area.

    heastern part between the the longitude

    e entire study ers and its 7. This basin [3] including

    sub-basins. is an arable



    o o

    t e e y s n g . e

  • Ass


    1.2 Geology

    Different basin, these limestone an role in the v Alluvial (qu unit in th characteristi these depos about nearly

    Fig. 2 Geolo

    sessment of

    y and Hydroge

    geological fo formations c nd conglome vulnerability uaternary) dep he area in ics and wate its as observ

    y 300 m.

    ogical map of t


    eological Set

    ormations we consist of lime erate which h

    system in th posits are the

    terms of er supply. T ved by Abdu

    the HSB (modi

    r Vulnerabilit Saidsa


    re exposed to estone, dolom have an effec he basin (Fig e most impor hydrogeolog

    The thickness ullah et al. [5

    ified from Abd

    ty to Pollution adiq Basin, Ir

    o the mitic ctive

    g. 2). rtant gical s of 5] is

    H exis sho whi sou gro sou rela usu nor gen

    dullah et al. [5]

    n Using VLDA raq

    Hydrogeologi st in the are

    own in Table ich surround

    utheast, are undwater, w

    utheastern pa atively lower ually from h theast, south

    nerally toward


    A and COP M

    ically, differe ea based on e 1 and Fig. d the basin

    characterize while toward art, the gro r depth. A gr high elevate

    h and southea d the reservoi

    Models in Hala

    ent groundw its geologic 3. The mou

    n of the no ed by high rd the cent oundwater l roundwater m ed areas at ast towards ir of Derband


    water aquifers al origin, as

    untain series, ortheast and h depth of ter and the level has a movement is t the north, southwest or

    dikhan Dam.

    s s , d f e a s , r

  • Ass

    Table 1 Typ

    Aquifer Intergranular

    Fissured aquif



    Non-aquifer ( TAT)

    Fig. 3 Hydro

    sessment of

    pe of aquifers i

    aquifer (AIA)

    fer (CFA)

    tic aquifer (CK

    er (TKA) and JK

    aquiclude, aqui

    ogeological ma


    in the study ba

    Form Quat Bala Kom

    FA) AvroJura

    KA AvroJura

    itard and QulqShir Tanj

    ap of the HSB

    r Vulnerabilit Saidsa


    mation ternary deposit

    ambo metan oman ssic formation oman ssic qula anish jero

    (modified from

    ty to Pollution adiq Basin, Ir

    Thi ts > 3


    200 80- 200 80- > 5 225 2,00

    m Abdullah et

    n Using VLDA raq

    ickness (m) 00


    0 200

    0 200 00

    5 00

    al. [5]).

    A and COP M

    R A





    Models in Hala

    References Abdullah et al. [

    Ali [3]

    assim and Goff

    assim and Goff

    Buday and Jassim

    abja 801


    f [7]

    f [7]

    m [8]


  • Assessment of Groundwater Vulnerability to Pollution Using VLDA and COP Models in Halabja Saidsadiq Basin, Iraq


    2. Methodology

    Two different models have been applied with the aid of GIS technique in order to map groundwater vulnerability in the study area. The first applied model is VLDA, predominantly it reflects lithology of vadose zone (V), pattern of land use (L), groundwater depth (D), and aquifer characteristics (A) [9]. In addition, reliable weight can be assigned to