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Hydrogeologic map of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (phase V, deliverable 56), Synthesis of hydrologic data (phase V, deliverable 57), and chemical hydrologic map of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (added value): Chapter C in Second projet de re

January 1, 2015

A hydrogeologic study was conducted to support mineral-resource assessment activities in Mauritania, Africa. Airborne magnetic depth estimates reveal two primary groundwater basins: the porous coastal Continental Terminal Basin (fill deposits); and the interior, fractured interior Taoudeni Basin. In the Continental Terminal Basin, there is uniform vertical recharge and localized discharge that is coincident with groundwater pumping at Nouakchott. This pumping center induces eastward flow of groundwater from the Atlantic Ocean resulting in a salinity gradient that diminishes quality over 100 km. Groundwater also flows southward into the basin from Western Sahara. By contrast, an interbasin exchange occurs as fresh groundwater flows westward from the Taoudeni Basin. In the Taoudeni Basin, zones of local recharge occur in three areas: northwest at the edge of the Rgueïbat Shield; at the city of Tidjikja; and near the center of the basin. Groundwater also flows across international boundaries: northward into Western Sahara and westward into Mali. At the southern country boundary, the Senegal River serves as both a source and sink of fresh groundwater to the Continental Terminal and Taoudeni basins. Using a geographical information system, thirteen hydrogeologic units are identified based on lateral extent and distinct hydraulic properties for future groundwater model development. Combining this information with drilling productivity, groundwaterquality, and geophysical interpretations (fracturing and absence of subsurface dikes) three potential water-resource development targets were identified: sedimentary rocks of the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Quaternary Periods; sedimentary rocks of Cambrian and Ordovician Periods; and sedimentary rocks of Neoproterozoic age.