Articles | Volume 24, issue 2
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 761–769, 2020

Special issue: History of hydrology (HESS/HGSS inter-journal SI)

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 761–769, 2020

Education and communication 19 Feb 2020

Education and communication | 19 Feb 2020

The millennium-old hydrogeology textbook The Extraction of Hidden Waters by the Persian mathematician and engineer Abubakr Mohammad Karaji (953 CE–1029 CE)

Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani and Craig T. Simmons

Related subject area

Subject: Groundwater hydrology | Techniques and Approaches: Modelling approaches
Modelling the hydrological interactions between a fissured granite aquifer and a valley mire in the Massif Central, France
Arnaud Duranel, Julian R. Thompson, Helene Burningham, Philippe Durepaire, Stéphane Garambois, Robert Wyns, and Hervé Cubizolle
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 291–319,,, 2021
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A new criterion for determining the representative elementary volume of translucent porous media and inner contaminant
Ming Wu, Jianfeng Wu, Jichun Wu, and Bill X. Hu
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 5903–5917,,, 2020
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Physics-inspired integrated space–time artificial neural networks for regional groundwater flow modeling
Ali Ghaseminejad and Venkatesh Uddameri
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 5759–5779,,, 2020
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Hydraulic and geochemical impact of occasional saltwater intrusions through a submarine spring in a karst and thermal aquifer (Balaruc peninsula near Montpellier, France)
Marie-Amélie Pétré, Bernard Ladouche, Jean-Luc Seidel, Romain Hemelsdaël, Véronique de Montety, Christelle Batiot-Guilhe, and Claudine Lamotte
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 5655–5672,,, 2020
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Calibration of a lumped karst system model and application to the Qachqouch karst spring (Lebanon) under climate change conditions
Emmanuel Dubois, Joanna Doummar, Séverin Pistre, and Marie Larocque
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4275–4290,,, 2020
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Cited articles

Abattouy, M. and Muhammad Al-Karaji, A.: A Mathematician Engineer from the Early 11th Century, Muslim Heritage, available at:, last access: 10 June 2019. 
Abrarova, M. A.: The geometrical section of al-Karaji's treatise `Comprehensive book of arithmetic' (Russian), in: Mathematics and astronomy in the works of Ibn Sina, his contemporaries and successors (Tashkent, 1981), Tashkent, 118–125, 1981. 
Darcy, H.: Les Fontaines Publiques de la Ville de Dijon [The Public Fountains of the City of Dijon], Dalmont, Paris, 1856. 
Davis, S. N.: Discussion of “Exploring for hidden water” by Mohammad Karaji – The oldest textbook on hydrology?”, Groundwater, 11, 45, 1973. 
Duffy, C. J.: The terrestrial hydrologic cycle: an historical sense of balance, WIREs Water, 4, e1216,, 2017. 
Short summary
We revisit and shed light on the textbook The Extraction of Hidden Waters by the Persian mathematician and engineer Abubakr Mohammad Karaji. Ground-breaking ideas and descriptions of hydrological and hydrogeological perceptions such as components of the hydrological cycle, groundwater quality and driving factors for groundwater flow were presented in the book. We speculate that Karaji's book is the first of its kind to provide a construction and maintenance manual for an engineering project.