Composite use of numerical groundwater flow modeling and geoinformatics techniques for monitoring Indus Basin aquifer, Pakistan

Zulfiqar Ahmad, Arshad Ashraf, Alan Fryar, Gulraiz Akhter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The integration of the Geographic Information System (GIS) with groundwater modeling and satellite remote sensing capabilities has provided an efficient way of analyzing and monitoring groundwater behavior and its associated land conditions. A 3-dimensional finite element model (Feflow) has been used for regional groundwater flow modeling of Upper Chaj Doab in Indus Basin, Pakistan. The approach of using GIS techniques that partially fulfill the data requirements and define the parameters of existing hydrologic models was adopted. The numerical groundwater flow model is developed to configure the groundwater equipotential surface, hydraulic head gradient, and estimation of the groundwater budget of the aquifer. GIS is used for spatial database development, integration with a remote sensing, and numerical groundwater flow modeling capabilities. The thematic layers of soils, land use, hydrology, infrastructure, and climate were developed using GIS. The Arcview GIS software is used as additive tool to develop supportive data for numerical groundwater flow modeling and integration and presentation of image processing and modeling results. The groundwater flow model was calibrated to simulate future changes in piezometric heads from the period 2006 to 2020. Different scenarios were developed to study the impact of extreme climatic conditions (drought/flood) and variable groundwater abstraction on the regional groundwater system. The model results indicated a significant response in watertable due to external influential factors. The developed model provides an effective tool for evaluating better management options for monitoring future groundwater development in the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-457
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Prof. Dr. Qasim Jan, Vice Chancellor University of Quaid-i-Azam, Islamabad, for the initial review of this paper and giving useful suggestions for its improvement. The data support by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the technical/material support of the National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESAK) for carrying out this work are gratefully acknowledged.


  • Chaj Doab
  • Finite element modeling
  • GIS
  • Groundwater system
  • Indus Basin
  • Remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Composite use of numerical groundwater flow modeling and geoinformatics techniques for monitoring Indus Basin aquifer, Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this