Isotopes to assess sustainability of overexploited groundwater in the Souss–Massa system (Morocco)

Mohammed Hssaisoune, Lhoussaine Bouchaou, Baudelaire N’da, Mouna Malki, Houria Abahous, Alan E. Fryar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Groundwater depletion and changes in isotopic and chemical contents constitute the main indicators of overexploitation, recharge, and flow paths in the Souss–Massa aquifer. These indicators highlight processes concerning sustainability of water resources in the aquifer (e.g. surface/groundwater interaction, recharge processes, and marine intrusion). The spatial variation of stable and radioactive isotopic contents indicates a mixing of modern and old water within the system. Recent recharge was observed mainly along the Souss River (the major surface-water drainage in the study area) and in the irrigated areas. Mapping of chemical and isotopic variation shows that the area is affected by abstraction, irrigation water return, and the evolution of modern recharge in time and space. The processes, distribution, and timing of groundwater flow are influenced by short- and long-term effects; long-term recharge is dependent on climatic conditions. This study can be used to make informed decisions about water-resource allocation and alternative management practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-312
Number of pages15
JournalIsotopes in Environmental and Health Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Carbon-14
  • Morocco
  • Souss-Massa aquifer
  • groundwater
  • hydrogen-2
  • hydrogen-3
  • isotope hydrology
  • overexploitation
  • oxygen-18
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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