WIT Press

Assessing Spatial Variation Of Contaminants Using Arc GIS: The Case Of Abou Ali River In North Lebanon


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WIT Press


M. A. Massoud, M. El-Fadel, M. D. Scrimshaw & J. N. Lester


Several factors affect the concentration of contaminants in river water including, but not limited, to watershed characteristics, rainfall patterns, catchment hydrology, geology and soils, in addition to anthropogenic sources such as agricultural runoff and municipal and industrial discharges. Since surface water drains to one outlet in a watershed eventually reaching the estuary, upstream land-based activities affect the water quality at that point. This study assesses the land use impact on water quality in the Abou Ali River Basin and its coastal zone in North Lebanon, based on multiple indicators. The assessment was conducted at the end of the dry season in 2002 and 2003 and the end of the wet season in 2003 and 2004. The objectives of this research are to establish relationships among changes in contaminant concentrations in water emanating from land use and probable natural landscape influences. An approach based on the use of Geographic Information System techniques was used to investigate spatial variation of contaminant loads to Abou Ali River Basin and its associated coastal zone. Lower water quality was encountered in areas impacted by human activity, primarily urban locations. The worst water quality is apparent in the estuary area where the total pollution of the upstream flow accumulates exacerbated by local wastewater discharge. This assessment is of major importance towards developing an integrated multipurpose usage plan for the Abou Ali River as well as towards an integrated river basin and coastal zone management plan. Such integrated management plans have the potential to address many of the shortcomings in water resources management in the catchment and prevent further deterioration by anticipating and avoiding new impacts. Keywords: assessment, GIS, water quality, variation, Abou Ali River, Lebanon.


assessment, GIS, water quality, variation, Abou Ali River, Lebanon.