Delegates from UAEU have participated in the 14th Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Conference held in Singapore from August 11th to 16th. They submitted and presented two papers. Professor Ahmed Murad, Dean of the College of Sciences displayed the Hydrogeology results of his research team.
This first paper dealt with the sustainability of geothermal energy in Al Ain. The study utilized geophysical and geochemical methodologies to determine the possibility of generating heat energy from the natural geothermal spring waters of Mubazzarah in Al Ain.
They found that the temperature of the surface water coming from the aquifer was between 32 and 49 degrees Celsius. The groundwater in sedimentary carbonate rocks such as these has relatively high total dissolved salts concentrations. The heat source is expected to be from deep parts of the aquifers. The study found that the temperature of the geothermal water may reach up to about 120 degrees Celsius at a depth of 3 km.
The research team from the Geology Department of the College of Sciences, included Dr. Hakim Saibi,; Dr. Saber Hussain and Dr. Ala Aldahan.
The second study was entitled ‘The Relationship between Natural Radiation in Groundwater and Agriculture in the UAE’, and was a continuation of a project to determine the concentration of natural radiation, launched in 2012. This study aims to build up a database for natural radioactivity of the UAE in order to serve future researchers and decision makers. It also seeks to determine the geographical distribution of natural radiation in the UAE and the dual effects between natural radioactivity and agriculture.
The question of how much of radioactivity in the groundwater may originate from fertilizers uses in agricultural practices was another important aspect of the study. This view was investigated by using the concentration of radioactive isotopes (uranium-238, uranium-235 and radium-226) as indicators of natural radiation in groundwater in a number of the country's aquifers. The study concluded that the transfer of uranium and radium due to agricultural practices was either slow or non-existent because the isotopes were adsorbed to soil particles, relative deep groundwater level and dry climate. The relationship between uranium-235 and uranium-238 confirmed that the main source of both isotopes is natural and also confirmed the negligible effect of agricultural practices on the recorded isotopes concentrations in groundwater.
The isotopic analyses were carried out at the Center for Nuclear Technologies at the Technical University of Denmark through supervision of professor Xiaolin Hou. A research team, including Dr. Dalal Al Shamsi, Dr. Saber Hussain, and Dr. Ala Aldahan from the College of Sciences at UAEU participated in the study.