Hydrogeology of Algeria

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Geographical and Political Setting

Political Map of Algeria (For more information on the datasets used in the map see the geography resources section)

General

The majority of Algeria's land surface is dominated by the Sahara Desert. This is separated from the coastal region by the Tellian and Saharan Atlas Mountain Ranges, which run across the country from east to west, parallel to the Mediterranean coast.

Estimated Population in 2013* 39,208,194
Rural Population (% of total)* 30%
Total Surface Area* 2,381,740 sq km
Agricultural Land (% of total area)* 17%
Capital City Algiers
Region North Africa
Border Countries Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Morocco
Annual Freshwater Withdrawal (2013)* 5,723 Million cubic metres
Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Agriculture* 61%
Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Domestic Use* 24%
Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Industry* 15%
Rural Population with Access to Improved Water Source* 80%
Urban Population with Access to Improved Water Source* 86%

* Source: World Bank


Climate

The climate of Algeria's northern coastal region is temperate, with dry, hot summers and mild, wet winters. Average annual precipitation in this region is around 600 mm. The climate in the south of Algeria is arid, with average annual rainfall close to zero. Average temperatures generally increase from north to south, although values are slightly higher in the coastal region compared to the Atlas mountains, because of the cooling effect of elevation.

There are temporal changes in precipitation and temperature throughout the year. The hottest months of June, July and August generally correspond to a distinct dry season. Rainfall time-series and graphs of monthly average rainfall and temperature for each of the two climate zones can be found on the Algeria Climate Page.

Average monthly precipitation for Algeria showing minimum and maximum (light blue), 25th and 75th percentile (blue), and median (dark blue) rainfall Average monthly temperature for Algeria showing minimum and maximum (orange), 25th and 75th percentile (red), and median (black) temperature Quarterly precipitation over the period 1950-2012 Monthly precipitation (blue) over the period 2000-2012 compared with the long term monthly average (red)


For further detail on the climate datasets used see the climate resources section.

Surface water

Low rainfall means that the majority of rivers in the mountainous and desert regions of Algeria are ephemeral, flowing only after large rainfall events. Only the rivers in the northern coastal region are perennial, flowing all year round.

The Chelif (or Cheliff) River is the longest river in Algeria, flowing for 700 km from its source in the Saharan Atlas to its discharge point in the Mediterranean Sea.

More info from country authors...


Surface Water Map of Algeria (For more information on the datasets used in the map see the surface water resources section)

Soil

Soil Map of Algeria (For more information on the datasets used in the map see the soil resources section)
Soils in the mountainous Atlas region of Algeria are dominated by stony Leptosols.

In the drier area to the north of the Atlas, soils are generally rich in calcium carbonate (Calcisols). Many of these soils are suitable for agriculture, but water availability is a key constraint on crop growth.

Along the wetter coastal region, soils are better developed and give rise to more vegetation - these include Luvisols and Cambisols. Vertisols, which support extensive cereal cultivation and grazing, occur in the eastern coastal region of Algeria.

The arid region to the south of the Atlas is characterised by poorly developed Leptosols, which contain little organic matter. Regions of Arenosols denote large areas of sand dunes.

Fluvisols are found along river valleys. To the south of the Atlas the rivers are generally ephemeral, but in the wetter northern region, where rivers are perennial, the valleys are often intensively cultivated.

Land cover

Geology

Algeria Geology.png
Geological Environments
Key Formations Period Lithology Structure
Unconsolidated Deposits
Name of Formation 1 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 2 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 3 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 4 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Igneous
Name of Formation 1 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 2 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Sedimentary Basin
Name of Formation 1 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 2 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 3 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 4 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 5 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 6 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features


Precambrian Metasedimentary
Name of Formation 1 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 2 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Precambrian Mobile/Orogenic Belt
Name of Formation 1 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 2 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Precambrian Craton
Name of Formation 1 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features
Name of Formation 2 Geological Period Further detail on the lithology of this formation Important structural features


Hydrogeology

This section will contain a broad overview of the hydrogeology.

Aquifer properties

Algeria Hydrogeology.png Hydrogeology Key.png


Unconsolidated

Named Aquifers General Description Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 1 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 2 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge



Igneous

Named Aquifers General Description Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 1 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 2 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge

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Consolidated Sedimentary - Intergranular Flow

Named Aquifers General Description Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 1 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 2 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge


Consolidated Sedimentary - Intergranular & Fracture Flow

Named Aquifers General Description Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 1 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 2 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge


Consolidated Sedimentary - Fracture Flow

Named Aquifers General Description Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 1 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 2 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge

Basement

Named Aquifers General Description Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 1 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 2 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 3 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge
Aquifer 4 General description, including properties, thickness, confined/unconfined Water quantity issues Water quality issues Recharge


Groundwater Status

General information on groundwater quantity, groundwater quality, river-aquifer interaction and groundwater dependent ecosystems.


Groundwater use and management

Groundwater use

Overview of groundwater use.

Groundwater management

Overview of groundwater management.

Transboundary aquifers

Overview of transboundary aquifers.

Groundwater monitoring

Overview of groundwater monitoring.