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Geology/regarding well in desert

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Question
Hi,

In Mecca, there is a well called "ZamZam" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zam_zam)  which supposedly provide water for millions of pilgrims. How it is possible for a well in a desert produce so much water? Is there any such wells in the world? Also is the medicinal property in the ZamZam water scientifically proved? Many pilgrims claim that the zamzam water does not get spoiled for very long time unlike other waters? How much scientific is the claim?

Answer
Dear Amtry
Note Terchnical note from wikipedia-Zam Zam well is located in -confined aquifer-well is in weathered formation-Sub-surface water adding to the well from Vally portions -water source,,Saudi Geological Survey established hydro geological characters of the well
Hydrogeologicaaly well in in confined aquifer get -sub-surface water
However detail case study must consult the local hydrogeolohists
Prof DVREDDY=Editor in chief IJEE-India


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Wikipedia Source-
he Zamzam well was excavated by hand, and is about 30 m (98 ft) deep and 1.08 to 2.66 m (3 ft 7 in to 8 ft 9 in) in diameter. It taps groundwater from the wadi alluvium and some from the bedrock. Originally water from the well was drawn via ropes and buckets, but today the well itself is in a basement room where it can be seen behind glass panels (visitors are not allowed to enter). Electric pumps draw the water, which is available throughout the Masjid al-Haram via water fountains and dispensing containers near the Tawaf area.[1]

Hydrogeologically, the well is in the Wadi Ibrahim (Valley of Abraham). The upper half of the well is in the sandy alluvium of the valley, lined with stone masonry except for the top metre (3 ft) which has a concrete "collar". The lower half is in the bedrock. Between the alluvium and the bedrock is a 1⁄2-metre (1 ft 8 in) section of permeable weathered rock, lined with stone, and it is this section that provides the main water entry into the well. Water in the well comes from absorbed rainfall in the Wadi Ibrahim, as well as run-off from the local hills. Since the area has become more and more settled, water from absorbed rainfall on the Wadi Ibrahim has decreased.

The Saudi Geological Survey has a "Zamzam Studies and Research Centre" which analyses the technical properties of the well in detail. Water levels were monitored by hydrograph, which in more recent times has changed to a digital monitoring system that tracks the water level, electric conductivity, pH, Eh, and temperature. All of this information is made continuously available via the Internet. Other wells throughout the valley have also been established, some with digital recorders, to monitor the response of the local aquifer system.[1]

The water level is 3.23 m (10.6 ft) below the surface. A pumping test at 8,000 litres per second (280 cu ft/s) for more than a 24-hour period showed a drop in water level to 12.72 m (41.7 ft) below the surface and then to 13.39 m (43.9 ft), after which the water level stopped receding. When pumping stopped, the water level recovered to 3.9 m (13 ft) below surface only 11 minutes later[citation needed]. This data shows that the aquifer feeding the well seems to recharge from rock fractures in neighbouring mountains around Mecca.[citation needed]
(Source Wikipedia)

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Dr D.Venkat Reddy

Expertise

Engineering Geology,Mining geology,commercial petrology,Decorative and dimensional stones,Hydrogeology

Experience

20years texhing and reserch expireience in geology,enginnering geology for graduate and undergraduate students-reserch guidance,10years field exoireience conducting field camps for geology students=Presently Assistant professor in geolog

Organizations
NITK-National Institute of Technology,Surathkal,Mangalore-DK,India Geology section Dept of Civil Engineering

Publications
published 70 research papers.( 4 books)- Editor in Chief-International Journal of Earth Sciences and Engineering -1.Engineering Geology for civil Engineers-oxford &IBH pub-1996] 2.Decorative and dimensional stones of India-CBS Pub-1997 3.Engineering Geology-Vikaspublishers2010 4.Applied Geology-Vikaspub-2010

Education/Credentials
MSC(GEOLOGY),Osmania university,India, MSC(Tech )Hydrogeology,OU,India PhD(GEOLOGY)OU,India

Awards and Honors
Distinguishing Indian Award Editor in chief-International Journal of Earth Sciences and Engineering (www.cafetinnova.org)

Past/Present Clients
PRESENTLY WORKING =Professor of Geology-Dept of Civil Engineering NITK-INDIA

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