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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-407
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-407
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: education and communication 15 Aug 2019

Submitted as: education and communication | 15 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

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

Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani1,2 and Craig T. Simmons1 Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani and Craig T. Simmons
  • 1National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training and College of Science & Engineering, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • 2Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Abstract. We revisit and shed light on the millennium-old hydrogeology textbook The Extraction of Hidden Waters by the Persian mathematician and engineer Karaji. Despite the incomparable understanding and conceptualization of the world by the people of that time, ground-breaking ideas and descriptions of hydrological and hydrogeological perceptions such as components of the hydrological cycle, groundwater quality and even driving factors of groundwater flow were presented in the book. Although some of the ideas may have been presented elsewhere, this is the first time that a whole book was focused on different aspects of hydrology and hydrogeology. More importantly, we are impressed as the book is composed in a way that covered all aspects that are related to an engineering project including technical and construction issues, guidelines for maintenance, and final delivery of the project when the development and construction are over. We speculate that Karaji's book is the first of its kind to provide a construction and maintenance manual for a modern engineering project.

Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani and Craig T. Simmons
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Status: open (until 21 Oct 2019)
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Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani and Craig T. Simmons
Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani and Craig T. Simmons
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Short summary
Karaji's pioneering scientific and engineering contributions into hydrology and hydrogeology through his book The Extraction of Hidden Waters are seminal and significant. Despite this, we and other authors have noted that his contributions to hydrologic science have been largely unknown and hence greatly undervalued and underappreciated. Karaji's book is not only the oldest textbook on hydrology, but also the first book on engineering construction management!
Karaji's pioneering scientific and engineering contributions into hydrology and hydrogeology...
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