Refined chloride mass-balance method and its application in Saudi Arabia

Subyani A., Şen Z.

Hydrological Processes, vol.20, no.20, pp.4373-4380, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 20
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/hyp.6172
  • Journal Name: Hydrological Processes
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4373-4380
  • Keywords: and region, chloride, rainfall, recharge, Saudi Arabia
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


The rainfall and infiltration elements of the hydrological cycle in arid regions are characterized by temporal and spatial variations that are random and sporadic. Consequently, the chloride concentration in rainfall has a similar behaviour. Despite this, the classical chloride mass balance (CMB) approach only employs arithmetic and weighted averages for recharge estimation. In this paper, the classical CMB method is modified by taking into account some perceived deficiencies in the methodology. The modified CMB method takes into consideration additional statistical parameters, namely variances and the correlation coefficient between variables concerned based on the application of the perturbation method. Strategic aquifer planning in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires a quick method for estimating groundwater recharge in order to determine the temporal management of available water resources. To demonstrate the difference between the classical and the refined CMB methods, both were applied to a representative basin, i.e. Wadi Yalamlam, in the western part of Saudi Arabia. Based on the refined calculations, recharge to groundwater is found to be 11% of the effective annual rainfall. This refined method provides higher recharge rates because it takes into account the actual variability in the variables concerned and can, thus, improve the accuracy of future groundwater recharge estimation studies. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.