Ph.D Thesis

Ph.D StudentAbbo Hila
SubjectGround Water and Solutes Transport Model of the Area
North-West to the Sea of Galilee
DepartmentDepartment of Agricultural Engineering
Supervisors PROF. Uri Shavit
DR. Alon Rimer


Lake Kinneret supplies 25% of the annual water consumption of Israel. Saline groundwater flows into the lake mainly through offshore saline springs along the north-west coast, near Tabgha and Fuliya. Geochemical studies suggest that the saline waters are the result of mixing between two end members: fresh meteoric water and deep Ca-Cl brine.

Analysis of data indicates a difference in temporal patterns of hydrological characteristics between Tabgha and Fuliya springs: the temporal behavior of head, discharge and salinity in the Fuliya springs system follow the lake level.  Rainfall events lead in Tabgha to head and discharge increase and a salinity decrease.

In this study we hypothesize that the main reason for the different phenomena observedis a difference in the spatial distribution of fractured regions that connect the regional aquifer to the lake. Therefore, the objective of this study is to develop three-dimensional, time dependent, numerical models that compute the flow and solute transport in both Tabgha and Fuliya spring systems. The models are based on identical hydrogeological structure, but differ in the degree of aquifer-lake connection, and the spatial distribution of fractured zones. The Fuliya system consists of more fractured regions than the Tabgha group.

The different behavior of the Fuliya and Tabgha spring groups is reproduced with an excellent agreement between measured and calculated patterns. Calculated annual discharges of water and solutes into the lake are similar to values calculated by annual mass budgets routinely performed for the lake.

It was shown that in addition to the differences in fractured regions, head at the boundary condition of the Tabgha springs system is higher than that of the Fuliya system