Due: __________________ (25 pts.)
This exercise is designed to introduce you to the wealth of information available through research publications
in scholarly journals at MSU. For this assignment you will focus on a geographic topic, but remember that regardless
of your major, your discipline publishes research in scholarly journals. This aspect of library research should become
invaluable to the rest of your career!
What you will learn from completing this exercise:
• The difference between a peer-reviewed scholarly research journal (science) and commercial magazines.
• How to search for geographic topics in the MSU electronic library databases.
• How to use references cited in journal publications.
What you will do to complete this exercise:
• Find a professional research (scholarly) journal article that presents research on some topic in geography.
• Start your topic search by looking for research that has been published in 2017-2019.
• Focus on some topic that is of interest to you, maybe something we mentioned during class but didn’t have
time to explore in-depth: alternative energy sources, global warming, population growth, religions, economic
geography, urban geography, or a specific country or region, etc.
• Summarize the research presented in the article including the methods used and the results.
• Consult the references cited within the article and look one up. Review the cited article. Why was it cited?
Background Information and Requirements
The article that you choose must be published in a refereed (scholarly, peer reviewed) research journal. Articles
submitted for publication in refereed journals are reviewed by other scholars and are subject to revision or rejection.
This process attempts to insure that only reliable, high quality research results are published.
Commercial magazines such as National Geographic, Scientific American, and Geo World pay their staff or hire
guest writers. Even though these magazine articles may contain good scientific information, they are not subject to the
rigorous process of peer review. Commercial magazines and trade journals are not suitable for this assignment.
➢ If the article does not have references cited within the text and a list of these cited references provided at the end of
the article, it does not fulfill the requirements of this assignment. If the source you are using includes numerous
color glossy photographs, chances are it is a commercial magazine, not a research journal. Please check with me,
or a librarian, if you are not sure about your source. http://libguides.mnsu.edu/content.php?pid=202797&sid=1775732
➢ Pdf’s describing scholarly journals are posted on D2L or you can view a tutorial at the address provided above.
➢ Be aware that many professional journals contain portions that are not research summaries. Your article cannot be
an editorial, a book review, or general article review. If you are not sure about something, please ask for help.
Write-Up: Your article should be summarized and written-up as follows. Your final product should be typed (12 pt.,
double-spaced) and should be a minimum of two written pages (no more than three) plus the required attachments.
1) Include your name, GEOG 100-(Your section #), Exercise 1 in one line at the top of your first page
and staple your assignment (1 pt.)
2) Identify the MSU library database you used to find your article. (ex. Science Direct) (1 pt.)
3) Provide a copy of the first page and the reference list of your 2017-2019 article (this should include
the abstract, title, and authors on the first page, and the reference list on the other). Highlight or circle
your chosen reference. (3 pts)
4) Summarize the research in your own words by describing the main points discussed in the article.
This could include such things as unique methodology, new theories, results, discussion of
controversy, etc. (What did they do, where, and why?) Be specific! (6 pts)
5) List at least two questions that you have about your article. These could include basic assumptions
that you don't understand or don't believe; or questions about the methodology or any theories or
results generated by the author(s). (4 pts)
Due: __________________ (25 pts.)
6) From all the references cited in your article, pick one that you would most like to read. Summarize
the article and explain why the authors cited that article. (6 pts)
7) Make your own reference list for your summary. This reference list should include the article you
summarized in detail (#4) and the one you read from the reference list (#6). (4 pts.)
Place your reference list either at the beginning or end of your summary. Because you are listing your
references, do not repeat the titles of your articles in your summary, rather use an in-text citation to
refer your reader to your reference list. For example, using the reference examples below, they would
be referred to in your summary paragraphs as (Didier, 2001) and (Malanson et al. 2002).
➢ You just finished reading an article with multiple citations, notice how they are used!
Making a Reference List
Use the reference format below and include the following information:
• All authors must be included and full names should be used if available.
• The year of publication must be obvious.
• Article titles must be included.
• Full journal titles must be used (NO abbreviations for journal titles).
• Journal volume, issue, and page numbers must be included.
If you are not familiar with reference styles, follow these examples from the Annals of the Association of American Geographers:
Author(s). Year. Title of the article capitalized sentence style. Full Journal Name in Italics. Volume (Issue number):
page numbers. If the citation is more than one line long, all lines after the first are indented (a hanging indent).
Didier, Lydie. 2001. Invasion patterns of European larch and Swiss stone pine in subalpine pastures in the French
Alps. Forest Ecology and Management 145(1-2): 67-77.
Malanson, George P., David R. Butler, David M. Cairns, Theresa E. Welsh, and Lynn M. Resler. 2002. Variability in
an edaphic indicator in alpine tundra. Catena 49(3): 203-215.
➢ DO NOT just copy and paste the citations from your on-line search pages. It will be obvious that you have
done this, and this is not acceptable (Plagiarism) and you will receive a score of Zero.
You can access MSU’s Memorial Library online databases through either of the following library links:
Article Databases A-Z or Class & Subject Guides
➢ Class & Subject Guides (check the different disciplines covered, but for this exercise you may want to use
Geography and Earth Science)
➢ Alphabetical A-Z (this works best if you know the name of the database you want to access)
Note: If you are working from home, or another non-university connection, you will be asked to log-in as an MSU user. Use your
normal MSU login, and this will identify you as a paid subscriber to those databases.
Examples of on-line MSU databases for geographic research include:
➢ ScienceDirect (strongly recommended)
➢ Academic Search Premier
➢ Environmental Issues & Policy
If the database you are using does not provide full text articles or direct links to full text sources, use the
Journals List search option on the main MSU Library home page. Type in the title of the journal (spelled correctly
with no abbreviations) and it will tell you which MSU library databases carry that particular journal.
Please, do not hesitate to ask for help if you have any trouble completing this assignment!
➢ Bring any questions to class, or during office hours (questions are too complicated for email)
➢ The Reference Librarians in the MSU Memorial Library are also very helpful!!
Hydrogeol J (2018) 26:251–266
A quantitative assessment of groundwater resources in the Middle
East and North Africa region
Khalil Lezzaik 1 & Adam Milewski 1
Received: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published online: 4 August 2017
# Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
Abstract The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
is the world’s most water-stressed region, with its countries
constituting 12 of the 15 most water-stressed countries globally. Because of data paucity, comprehensive regional-scale
assessments of groundwater resources in the MENA region
have been lacking. The presented study addresses this issue by
using a distributed ArcGIS model, parametrized with gridded
data sets, to estimate groundwater storage reserves in the region based on generated aquifer saturated thickness and effective porosity estimates. Furthermore, monthly gravimetric
datasets (GRACE) and land surface parameters (GLDAS)
were used to quantify changes in groundwater storage between 2003 and 2014. Total groundwater reserves in the region were estimated at 1.28 × 106 cubic kilometers (km3) with
an uncertainty range between 816,000 and 1.93 × 106 km3.
Most of the reserves are located within large sedimentary basins in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with Algeria,
Libya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia accounting for approximately
75% of the region’s total freshwater reserves. Alternatively,
small groundwater reserves were found in fractured
Precambrian basement exposures. As for groundwater changes between 2003 and 2014, all MENA countries except for
Morocco exhibited declines in groundwater storage.
However, given the region’s large groundwater reserves,
groundwater changes between 2003 and 2014 are minimal
and represent no immediate short-term threat to the MENA
* Khalil Lezzaik
* Adam Milewski
Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Water Resources &
Remote Sensing Group (WRRS), 210 Field Street, 306
Geography-Geology Bldg., Athens, GA 30602, USA
region, with some exceptions. Notwithstanding this, the study
recommends the development of sustainable and efficient
groundwater management policies to optimally utilize the region’s groundwater resources, especially in the face of climate
change, demographic expansion, and socio-economic
Keywords Geographic information system . Groundwater
statistics . Middle East and North Africa . Regional analysis .
Among the serious challenges facing the Middle East and
North Africa (MENA) region, freshwater scarcity ranks
highest, given its impact on food security, economic development and poverty reduction, and socio-political stability.
Natural water scarcity, as a function of the predominantly
(hyper-)arid environment of the MENA region, is exacerbated
by increased water demand consistent with population
growth, urbanization, and economic growth. So much so that
the projected doubling of the region’s population in the next
50 years is expected to decrease per capita water availability
by 40% (Terink et al. 2013).
The centrality of groundwater resources in the healthy
functionality of the MENA region arises from the fact that
76% of freshwater is primarily sourced from groundwater systems of which 65.6% are non-renewable fossil aquifers
(Klingbeil and Al-Hamdi 2010). According to a study by the
British Geological Survey (BGS), fossil groundwater resources in Africa have an estimated volume of more than a
hundred times the estimate of surface freshwater resources,
with the largest groundwater aquifers found in large sedimentary lithologies in North African countries such as Egypt,
Libya, and Algeria (MacDonald et al. 2012). This paradigm
extends to the Arabian Peninsula and most of the Levant
(Israel and Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and
Given the region’s dependence on groundwater resources,
accurate quantitative assessments of predominantly nonrenewable groundwater systems and subsequent changes to
their water table levels, are necessary for planning, developing, and implementing future sustainable water-management
practices and policies. However, data paucity limitations and
the MENA region’s extensive spatial extent hamper scientific
efforts designed to understand the nature, distribution, and
accessibility of groundwater resources. In the past 20 years,
long-term baseline high-quality water datasets have been reduced due to the continuing disintegration of monitoring networks, with a marked 90% decline in the number of active
discharge stations (Vörösmarty et al. 2001).
The constraints of data unavailability and inaccessibility in
the MENA region are arguably one of the main causes behind
the limited number of studies and publications addressing water resources generally and groundwater resources specifically
in the region. While the advent of satellite-based remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and improved
computing power has given rise to global and regional-scale,
high-resolution, and gridded data sets to counter in-situ data
paucity (Milewski et al. 2009), these technological advancements have been more effectively used in simulating renewable surface-water processes as opposed to modeling groundwater systems. The study by Droogers et al. (2012) is one
good example. In a World Bank study, Droogers et al.
(2012) used a physically based, distributed, hydrological model, parameterized with a suite of global and regional data sets
constructed primarily from remote sensing data and modeling
approaches, to assess renewable water resources in the MENA
Recently, however, a number of studies attempting to
quantify and characterize groundwater systems have been
published. Using simple conceptual models, MacDonald
et al. (2012) and Richey et al. (2015) estimated continentalscale groundwater storage estimates by combining aquifer
saturated thickness and effective porosity across Africa and
globally, respectively. Fundamental to their analysis is their
reliance on publications, reports, maps, and gray literature,
which are quantitatively data-poor and of varying quality, to
populate and/or calculate hydrogeological parameters.
According to MacDonald et al. (2012), the lack of quantitative
national hydrogeological maps in North Africa was replaced
by regional (> 62,500 km2) qualitative reports and maps.
Similarly, Richey et al. (2015) used regional storage estimates
of individual aquifers from scientific literature and archives. If
not available, Richey et al. (2015) calculated groundwater
storage by following the approaches of Nace (1969) and
Korzun et al. (1978) that designated arbitrary values to
Hydrogeol J (2018) 26:251–266
hydrogeologic parameters and broad assumptions, such as
assuming uniform minimum and maximum saturated thicknesses of 1,000 and 2,000 m respectively. Richey et al. (2015)
revised their approaches to constrain the ranges of possible
groundwater storage—for example, assuming a suggestion
of 200 m as an acceptable average saturated thickness.
Despite efforts to accurately assess groundwater systems
through comprehensive reviews and analyses of existing
hydrogeological knowledge, the outdated, data-poor, and
qualitatively focused state of hydrogeological literature, maps,
and archives continually limited and undermined these assessments—for example, the majority of previous studies utilize
d at ab a s e s th at la c k di s t r i b u t e d a nd q u an t i t a t i v e
hydrogeological data, with most sources providing a single
to few data points (<10) in large regional aquifer systems.
Dependence on few data points to over-extrapolate
hydrogeological variables is a large source of errors and inaccuracies. Additional major sources of errors are discrepancies
in data quality, collection and processing protocols, size of
sample base, and description of field and modeling methodologies that compromise the consistency of and confidence in
Consistent with overall data-scarce conditions in developing countries, the unavailability of and/or inaccessibility to
long-term and spatially distributed water-table fluctuation data
hinders the measurement and understanding of groundwater
storage changes and their drivers in the MENA region. The
launch of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
(GRACE) satellite mission in March 2002, however, has offset the historical lack of groundwater monitoring programs
and long-term hydrological data sets in data-sparse areas such
as the MENA region, by providing spatially and temporally
continuous measurements of terrestrial water storage changes.
The GRACE satellite mission has enabled experts to quantify
groundwater depletion on a global scale through the use of
integrated measurements and modeled terrestrial water mass
(Wahr et al. 1998), thus giving rise to numerous studies aimed
at characterizing groundwater depletion worldwide (Feng
et al. 2013; Joodaki et al. 2014). In reference to the Middle
East, Voss et al. (2013) used GRACE to estimate groundwater
depletion in the Euphrates-Tigris River basin between 2003
and 2009 by isolating the groundwater component within total
water storage from variations in land surface-water parameters
(e.g. surface water, soil moisture). Similarly, a study by
Longuevergne et al. (2013) utilized analogous methods to
determine GRACE-derived groundwater change estimates in
the lower Nile and the Euphrates-Tigris River basins.
GRACE-based groundwater assessments are in the MENA
region are limited by aquifer-level and basin-level analysis.
Moreover, with the exception of Richey et al. (2015), no studies have attempted to integrate groundwater storage estimates
with groundwater storage anomalies to assess current stress
conditions of groundwater systems in the MENA region.
Hydrogeol J (2018) 26:251–266
However, the groundwater resilience assessment by Richey
et al. (2015) is severely limited by the poor state of current
hydrogeological data that produce groundwater storage estimates across magnitudes.
The scope of this research is two-fold. First, this study introduces an original methodological approach, based on a systematic and innovative integration of easily available, up-todate, globally gridded datasets and models, to accurately characterize and quantify groundwater storage (reserves). The presented approach offers an alternative to current groundwater
storage assessments that rely on outdated, data-poor, and qualitatively based studies and maps of questionable quality, with
arbitrary estimations of hydrogeologic parameters, and wide
ranges of uncertainty. The proposed approach addresses the
limitations of analyses based on the collation and review of
published and gray literature by standardizing model inputs
and datasets, which improves the quality and consistency of
groundwater storage simulations, provides finer spatial resolutions than achieved with few a few data points, and reduces
errors caused by the small sample base sizes and sampling
biases usually associated with regional groundwater reports.
Another major advantage offered by the approach reported here
is its replicability globally, especially in data-scarce regions,
given its dependence on the combined use of a simple conceptual model with global-scale gridded data and models. Second
is the assessment and characterization of groundwater resources in the MENA region by integrating groundwater storage estimates—calculated using the highlighted integrated approach—with GRACE-derived groundwater storage anomalies
in a distributed, conceptually lumped, hydrogeological model
parameterized with a suite of accurate and up-to-date gridded
remote sensing data sets and models.
The MENA region is a land mass covering a surface area of
approximately 9 × 106 km2, with a geographical extent between 12°N–37°N and 17°W–60°E (Fig. 1). Deserts form the
greater part of the surface area of the region, with the Great
Sahara Desert (7 × 106 km2) covering most of North Africa.
Given both the current conditions of low precipitation and
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