A groundwater flow model for water related damages on historic monuments – Case study West Luxor, Egypt
Shallow groundwater is an important factor contributing to the deterioration of the Pharaonic monuments in Egypt. The capillary zone of the soil layers reaches the ground surface, and constant transport of salts and water takes place in an upward direction due to evaporation. The result of this is a concentration of salts in the upper soil layers under and near the surface of the temple walls.
The main objectives of this research were to investigate the hydrogeological conditions at the West bank temples, and to propose measures to lower the groundwater levels by at least 2.5 m, avoiding in this manner deterioration of the monuments caused by evaporation driven salt transport.
Results show that a reduction of irrigation rates over the model area is not sufficient to lower groundwater levels and it has to be combined with other measures, such as pumping and a better management of the internal canals and drainage flows. The fundamental problem is the raised groundwater table due to increased irrigation and reduced water level variations in the Nile. Therefore, the most sustainable solution is to change or improve the irrigation systems in the area.