Velocity data from uphole surveys were used to map the water table and the contact at the base dune sand/top alluvium as part of a joint National Drilling Company-United States Geological Survey Ground Water Research Project in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. During 1981-1983, a reconnaissance seismic survey was conducted for petroleum exploration in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi. Approximately 2800 kilometers of seismic data, consisting of 92 lines, were acquired in the 2500 km2 concession area near Al Ain. Uphole surveys were conducted about 2 km apart along each seismic line, and were used to calculate weathering corrections required to further process in the seismic data. Approximately 1300 uphole surveys were completed in the concession area between March 1981 and June 1983. Reinterpretation of the velocity profiles derived from the uphole surveys provided data for determining the following subsurface layers, listed in descending order: (1) a surficial, unconsolidated weathering layer with a velocity from 300 to 450 m/s; (2) surficial dune sand, from 750 to 900 m/s; (3) unsaturated, unconsolidated alluvium, from 1000 to 1300 m/s; and (4) saturated, unconsolidated alluvium, from 1900 to 2200 m/s. Two interfaces-the water table and the base dune sand/top alluvium - were identified and mapped from boundaries between these velocity layers. Although the regional water table can fluctuate naturally as much as 3 m per year in this area and the water-table determinations from the uphole data span a 27-month period, an extremely consistent and interpretable water-table map was derived from the uphole data throughout the entire concession area. In the northern part of the area, unconfined groundwater moves northward and northwestward toward the Arabian Gulf; and in the central and southern parts of the area, groundwater moves westward away from the Oman Mountains. In the extreme southern area east of Jabal Hafit, groundwater moves southward into Oman. The map of the base dune sand/top alluvium suggests a buried paleodrainage network trending westward to southwestward away from the Oman Mountains. These paleodrainages, now buried by dune sand, probably contain alluvial fill and are logical targets for groundwater exploration. ?? 1991.
Additional publication details
Application of uphole data from petroleum seismic surveys to groundwater investigations, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)