Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Biology (Integrative Biology)

Major Professor

Thomas L. Crisman

Keywords

Middle East, Water Quality, Water Resources, Zooplankton

Abstract

This research was conducted to update previous studies of the springs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Approach: Revisit every spring that was recorded previously to ascertain the current status, water quality and zooplankton communities. Results: fourteen springs out of forty six were still flowing. Several springs in the Eastern Province were structurally changed into manmade pools. Also, one new spring was located and documented in the northwestern region. Zinc and copper in several springs were the common dissolved heavy metals and have had exceeded the safe drinking water standards according to World Health Organization. Fourteen zooplankton taxa was found, seven belonged to phylum Rotifera (four Lecane spp. and three brachionids). Six belonged to subclasses Phyllopoda and Copepoda. The phyllopod, Pleuroxus sp., belongs to suborder Cladocera. The remaining five were copepods: one in the order Cyclopoida (Halicyclops sp.) and four in the order Harpacticoida (Bryocamptus sp., Schizopera sp., Euterpina sp. and Metis sp.). The remaining taxon was an unidentified species belonging to class Ostracoda. Zooplankton species were present in nine of the fifteen springs; the exceptions were Umm Al-Eyal, Abu-Dhuba and the four geothermal springs. Conclusion/ recommendation: The research concluded that the majority of the springs in the Kingdom have fallen dry between 1990 and 2013. Total dissolved solids as well as electrical conductivity, during the same period, were not significantly different. Zooplankton abundance displayed a positive correlation to Electrical Conductivity. Spring water is an important source of freshwater in the Kingdom; as such, springs must be properly maintained and conserved. More attention should be given to protect this important commodity from becoming obsolete. Groundwater protection is everyone's responsibility

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