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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of MAR Methods for Semi-Arid, Cold Regions

Department of Civil Engineering, Geo and Environmental Sciences, KIT—Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2548;
Received: 22 August 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 22 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge for Water Resilience)
Mongolia is a semi-arid, highly continental region with highly variable precipitation and
river discharge. The groundwater aquifer located near Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, is
the only one source for city water supply consumption, and it is important to ensure that
groundwater is available now and in the future. The main watercourse near the capital city is the
Tuul River, fed by precipitation in the Khentii Mountains. The semi-arid and cold environment
shows high variability in precipitation and river discharge. However, due to absence of
precipitation in winter and spring, the riverbed usually runs dry during these times of the year, and
weather observations show that the dry period has been extending in recent years. However, in
parallel with urban development, the extended groundwater aquifer has shown a clear decline, and
the groundwater levels have dropped significantly. Therefore, a groundwater management system
based on managed aquifer recharge is proposed, and a strategy to implement these measures in the
Tuul River valley is presented in this paper. This strategy consists of the enhancement of natural
recharge rates during the wet summer from the northern drainage canal, an additional increase in
groundwater recharge through melting the ice storage in the dry period, as well as the construction
of underground dams to accumulate groundwater and a surface water reservoir that releases a
constant discharge in the outlet. To increase natural recharge rates of groundwater during the early
dry period through the melting ice storage period, the MATLAB icing code, which was written for
ice storage for limited and unlimited areas, was considered through finite element subsurface
FLOW (FEFLOW) simulation scenarios as a water source in ice form on the surface. A study of the
artificial permafrost of underground as an ice dam was processed in FEFLOW simulation scenarios
for accumulating groundwater resources. The results of these artificial recharging methods were
individually calculated, combined, and compared with the surface reservoir, which releases a
constant discharge through the dam. In this paper, new ideas are presented involving managed
aquifer recharge—MAR methods, and include application to aufeis, a mass of layered ice for
groundwater recharge by melting. Additionally, the accumulation of groundwater using artificial
permafrost is used as an underground dam. In addition, was considered recharging scenario only
with constant release water amount from water reservoir also with all MAR methods together with
reservoir combination.
Keywords: Ulaanbaatar; MAR; MATLAB; FEFLOW; artificial recharging scenarios Ulaanbaatar; MAR; MATLAB; FEFLOW; artificial recharging scenarios
MDPI and ACS Style

Narantsogt, N.; Morhlok, U. Evaluation of MAR Methods for Semi-Arid, Cold Regions. Water 2019, 11, 2548.

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: DOI:
    Description: ICING PHENOMENA FOR MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE (MAR) AND IT’S FEFLOW SIMULATION RESULT Nasanbayar N.* Environmental Engineering department, School of Civil engineering and Architecture Mongolian University of Science and Technology, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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