Besides the Jordan River, perennial rivers are rarely found in the Dead Sea Basin. Instead, flash floods are a common phenomenon in arid regions like the Dead Sea Basin and contribute an important share to the water budget (WP2). Flash floods are observed in wadis after heavy rainfall events and are characterized by a sudden runoff increase of high magnitude. They often cause damage to infrastructure and even losses of lives.
As storms are the driving factor for flash flood generation, spatial and temporal high-resolution data of the meteorological conditions (WP7) are required for runoff calculation. Besides the meteorological conditions (e.g. rainfall and air temperature), the spatio-temporal distribution of soil moisture is of importance to runoff generation. Therefore, the goal of WP6 is a combined use of soil moisture and meteorological data for surface runoff estimation. To achieve a better representation of the spatio-temporal dynamics of soil moisture in rainfall-runoff modelling, soil moisture will be measured locally and extrapolated with remote sensing data.
As a result, the relationship between flash flood volume and rainfall will be estimated and a flash flood warning system will be set up in cooperation with WP7.
Furthermore, the results of the surface runoff estimation contribute to the water budget estimation in WP2.Contact: Prof. Dr. Ralf Merz
In the Dead Sea Basin, groundwater recharge, besides fossil water, determines the available water resources. Therefore, the spatio-temporal quantification of groundwater recharge and flow in the Dead Sea Basin is essential for sustainable groundwater management.
WP6 has the goal to provide a 3D-hydrogeologic model of the entire Dead Sea Basin. Besides, the quantification of groundwater flow and recharge, water quality, and water-rock interactions will be assessed. On the one hand, the hydrogeologic model will integrate all available geological and structural information characterizing the aquifer and Graben fault system as well as the sediments of the Dead Sea Basin. On the other hand, data on isotope geochemistry and trace elements sampled from springs and groundwater wells in the region will be integrated into the model to shed light on water flow paths and water age.
Moreover, the results of the hydrogeologic model contribute to the water budget estimation in WP2.Contact: Dr. Stefan Geyer