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Mapping groundwater reserves in northwestern Cambodia with the combined use of data from lithologs and time-domain-electromagnetic and magnetic-resonance soundings

  • Valois, R.
  • Vouillamoz, Jean-Michel
  • Lun, S.
  • Arnout, L.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
Horizon / Pleins textes
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Lack of access to water is the primary constraint to development in rural areas of northwestern Cambodia. Communities lack water for both domestic and irrigation purposes. To provide access to drinking water, governmental and aid agencies have focused on drilling shallow boreholes but they have not had a clear understanding of groundwater potential. The goal of this study has been to improve hydrogeological knowledge of two districts in Oddar Meanchey Province by analyzing borehole lithologs and geophysical data sets. The comparison of 55 time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) soundings and lithologs, as well as 66 magnetic-resonance soundings (MRS) with TEM soundings, allows a better understanding of the links between geology, electrical resistivity and hydrogeological parameters such as the specific yield (S (y)) derived from MRS. The main findings are that water inflow and S (y) are more related to electrical resistivity and elevation than to the litholog description. Indeed, conductive media are associated with a null value of S (y), whereas resistive rocks at low elevation are always linked to strictly positive S (y). A new methodology was developed to create maps of groundwater reserves based on 612 TEM soundings and the observed relationship between resistivity and S (y). TEM soundings were inverted using a quasi-3D modeling approach called 'spatially constrained inversion'. Such maps will, no doubt, be very useful for borehole siting and in the economic development of the province because they clearly distinguish areas of high groundwater-reserves potential from areas that lack reserves.

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