Field Experimental Study on the Infiltration and Clogging Processes at Aksu Research Site, Kazakhstan

Vladimir Mirlas, Vitaly Kulagin, Aida Ismagulova, Yaakov Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The challenge of a good quality drinking water supply to southeastern Kazakhstan’s local population from far-away natural surface water sources motivates groundwater utilization from local aquifers. To prevent groundwater resource deficits, artificial groundwater recharge is needed. To this end, infiltration and clogging processes were evaluated through comprehensive field research in southeastern Kazakhstan’s typical river drainage basin (Aksu experimental site). The infiltration scenario included constructed mini pools and their typical soil profile clogging and silting processes. The local aquifer unsaturated and upper saturated zones underwent a detailed study of water balance, hydrodynamic setting, and filtration properties. The research results suggest that the infiltration rate decreased from 15 m/day until the saturation steady state and remained at 0.75 m/day until the end of the experiment. In summer, clogging layers with thicknesses ranging from 3 mm for the clayey silt layer to 6 mm for muddy clay began to form at the mini pools nearly one month after the test began. During infiltration, the mini pools’ upper soil layer dirt-holding capacity varied from 3.72 to 5.25 kg/m2. The field study results serve as a factual basis for artificial replenishment system design and groundwater replenishment methodology optimization in southeastern Kazakhstan and similar regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15645
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • artificial recharge
  • field study
  • soil clogging
  • water infiltration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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