Geophysical Prospecting for Groundwater Resources in Phosphate Deposits (Morocco)
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Phosphate minesGeophysical explorationHydrogeologyPhosphate extractionGantour BasinOuled Abdoun BasinMorocco
Ihbach F-Z, Kchikach A, Jaffal M, El Azzab D, Khadiri Yazami O, Jourani E-S, Peña Ruano JA, Olaiz OA, Dávila LV. Geophysical Prospecting for Groundwater Resources in Phosphate Deposits (Morocco). Minerals. 2020; 10(10):842. [https://doi.org/10.3390/min10100842]
SponsorshipOCP-SA; CNRST Morocco project APHOS GEO-KCH-01/2017
The Moroccan phosphate deposits are the largest in the world. Phosphatic layers are extracted in open-pit mines mainly in the sedimentary basins of Gantour and Ouled Abdoun in Central Morocco. The purpose of this study was to prospect and evaluate the water potential of aquifers incorporated in the phosphatic series using the following geophysical methods: Magnetic resonance sounding (MRS), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), time-domain electromagnetics (TDEM), and frequency-domain electromagnetics (FDEM). The objective was, on the one hand, to contribute to the success of the drinking water supply program in rural areas around mining sites, and on the other hand, to delimit flooded layers in the phosphatic series to predict the necessary mining design for their extraction. The use of geophysical methods made it possible to stratigraphically locate the most important aquifers of the phosphatic series. Their hydraulic parameters can be evaluated using the MRS method while the mapping of their recharge areas is possible through FDEM surveys. The results obtained in two selected experimental zones in the mining sites of Youssoufia and Khouribga are discussed in this paper. The application of the implemented approach to large phosphate mines is in progress in partnership with the mining industry.