Modeling Contamination Transport (Nitrate) in Central Basin Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq with Support of MODFLOW Software


  • Noor K.Y. Yashooa Department of Water Resources, College of Engineering, Salahaddin University Erbil, Iraq
  • Dana K. Mawlood Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Iraq



Groundwater; Modeling; Movement; GMS; MODFLOW; Nitrate; Erbil basin Iraq


Groundwater is one of the essential water resources in the Kurdistan Region and Erbil City. The development leads to depletion in the quality and quantity of groundwater. This study aimed to model groundwater flow in the study area within the central basin and simulate the nitrate transport from the Erbil landfill site for 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years using the Groundwater Modeling System (GMS) version 10.6.2. The study area covers 579.72 km2; data about the groundwater observation head was obtained from the general direction of groundwater. A sample of wastewater was taken from landfill leachate to check the its properties. Landfill leachate is considered a point source of contamination. The GMS is a powerful software for modeling groundwater flow and contamination transport. The results show a good correlation between the observed and predicted heads, and the R2 of the model equals 0.9917. The plume of nitrate contamination spread horizontally and vertically to about 1.5 km downstream landfill and approximately 1.5km upstream landfill. The nitrate reaches the third layer to a depth of more than 325 m after 50 years.