As part of the „MedWater“ project we visited the Western Aquifer Basin together with colleagues from the University of Berlin (project lead), University of Würzburg and University of Bayreuth to assess possible field sites for the installation of measurement equipment. The Western Aquifer Basin (WAB) is a massive multilayered karst aquifer (Cretaceous Judea group) with a size of about 9000km2 extending throughout Israel and and Palestine.

The WAB has two main spring outlets (Taninim/Al Timsah spring and Yarkon/Ras Al Ain spring) and consists of a lower and upper main aquifer separated by the predominantly impermeable Yatta formation. Due to its dimensions and west-dipping units with outcrops along the eastern mountain ranges a clear separation of recharge and discharge regions is characteristic for the WAB. Outcrops in the eastern mountains are the main drivers for recharge and aquifer replenishment and exhibit classical rapid and diffuse recharge dynamics due to the karstic features of the landscape. Paired with spatially distributed and temporally highly variant precipitation events a thorough understanding of surface-subsurface coupling, vadose zone routing and dual-subsurface flow dynamics is required to understand the WAB as a whole and allow predictive modeling in the context of water management.

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Panorama view close to Jerusalem with a motivated Ph.D. student Lysander Bresinsky (Kordilla 2018)