Salinization and climate change
While most climatic models predict a significant reduction of water availability in many arid and semi arid zones of the world, our research has focused on salinization associated with overuse of the limited water resources in these areas (Paper in Climatic Change). We are currently working on salinization phenomena of groundwater from aquifers in different aquifers of Morocco (a funded NATO project), Arizona, USA (paper in Applied Geochemistry), southern Jordan (MERC project), and coastal aquifer of North Carolina. We are using the TIMS lab established at Duke for measurements of boron and strontium isotopes, in addition to the traditional other stable isotopes and geochemistry. The multi-isotope approach has shown to be very powerful is elucidating the different salinity sources and we intend to continue to use this method. Our initial investigations of groundwater salinity from the sub-Sahara Moroccan basins suggest that changes in the recharge patterns induced by climate change are associated with accelerated salinitization. Understanding the source of the salinity is essential for predicting future trends in water quality and, ultimately, providing solutions for an adequate management of the water resources in these fragile aquifers.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Science for Peace and Security Program is designed to promote collaboration between an organization in a NATO-member country and another organization in a partner (non-NATO) country. This project investigates the salinity and radioactivity in water sources in Morocco is a joint investigation between the Earth and Ocean Sciences Department in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA and the Université Ibn Zohr, Faculté des SciencesLaboratoire de Géologie Appliquée et Géo-Environnement (LAGAGE) Equipe d’Hydrogéogie Agadir, Morocco.