Gravity and time domain electromagnetic (TDEM) methods were used in this study to investigate the subsurface hydrogeology of the carbonate-rock aquifer in arid environments (central Tunisia, Western Mediterranean province). The El Houdh basin can be considered an appropriate case for evaluating the vulnerability of groundwater resources under present-day climate change. The identification of structural context and the discontinuities affecting the Eocene or Campanian to Maastrichtian carbonates is an important key to recognize water recharge and discharge pathways and to develop effective and long-term groundwater exploration strategies. First, we have produced an available residual gravity field using a specific Gaussian filter. Then, we generated derivative maps, Euler deconvolution solutions map and a 3D gravity model to delineate different anomalies and to estimate the depth-to-basement parameter and the subsurface density contrasts. Positive and negative anomalies mapping and 3D gravity modelling showed that the El Houdh basin is associated with an asymmetric ‘perched syncline’ with a segmentation into NE–SW sub-basins (local negative residual anomalies) separated by NW–SE lineaments. The TDEM survey was calibrated using boreholes to image the karst saturated and unsaturated zone and to deduce the epikarst and endokarst relationship. Finally, the proposed method provides a fast and valuable approach for better management of hydrogeological exploitation.

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