Modeling spatio-temporal flow dynamics of groundwater-surface water interactions of the Lake Tana Basin, Upper Blue Nile, Ethiopia

Tibebe B. Tigabu, Paul D. Wagner, Georg Hörmann, Nicola Fohrer
2020 Hydrology Research  
The Ethiopian government has selected Lake Tana basin as a development corridor due to its water resources potential. However, combined use of groundwater (GW) and surface water (SW) is still inadequate due to knowledge gaps about the flow dynamics of GW and SW. Mostly, there is no information about groundwater use. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the dynamics of GW-SW interactions on a spatio-temporal basis in three of the main catchments (Gilgelabay, Gumara and Ribb) that drain into
more » ... Lake Tana. To this end, the SWAT-MODFLOW model, which is an integration of SWAT (Soil and Water assessment Tool) and MODFLOW, is used. The results reveal strong hydraulic connection between the GW and SW in all the three catchments. In the Gilgelabay catchment, the flow from the aquifer to the river reaches dominates (annual discharge from the aquifer varies from 170 to 525,000 m3/day), whereas in Gumara (annual exchange rate between −6,530 and 1,710 m3/day) and Ribb (annual exchange rate between −8,020 and 1,453 m3/day) the main flow is from the river reaches to the aquifer system. The flow pattern differs in the three catchments due to variations of the aquifer parameters and morphological heterogeneity. Overall, this study improves our understanding of GW-SW flow dynamics and provides insights for future research works and sustainable water management in the Nile region.
doi:10.2166/nh.2020.046 fatcat:lrdb7uquyjf2loihzohbrfcike