Geoinformation, monitoring and assessment Environment

Updated July 1998

Remote Sensing Centre Series

Groundwater Exploration by Satellite Remote Sensing in the Syrian Arab Republic

by C. Travaglia and O. Ammar
33 pp, 9 figures, 5 tables
RSC Series No. 75, FAO, Rome 1998


The study undertaken in the Syrian Arab Republic clearly indicates that the integration into a geographic information system of data extracted from earth observation satellites with those traditionally gathered, coupled with selected field investigations and the geological knowledge of the area under investigation, provides a powerful tool in groundwater search.

In the basaltic terrain of Southern Syria groundwater moves along faults and fractures, mainly the result of tectonic movements. The statistical analysis of the lineaments interpreted from Landsat TM data indicates two major directions of fracturing considered as tensional and thus "open" for the storing and transmission of groundwater.

Large freshwater springs occurring on the seabed at a short distance from the Syrian coastline were identified and located through analysis of thermal data. As they occur on the seaward extension of lineaments mapped inland, potential drilling sites were identified and positively tested by geo-resistivity.

The development of the "blocks" concept allowed for the identification of the most suitable lineaments and, mainly, of "waterways" and consequently of highly potential drilling sites in a large portion of the carbonate interior of the coastal landmass.

The methodologies developed by the project may be operationally applied in other similar environments in Syria, as well as in other countries where the geological factors affecting groundwater storage and transmission are comparable.

keywords: groundwater, remote sensing, Syrian Arab Republic

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