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Does sea-level rise have an impact on saltwater intrusion?

Chang, Sun Woo , Clement, T. Prabhakar , Simpson, Matthew J., & Lee, Kang-Kun (2011) Does sea-level rise have an impact on saltwater intrusion? Advances in Water Resources, 34(10), pp. 1283-1291.

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Abstract

Climate change effects are expected to substantially raise the average sea level. It is widely assumed that this raise will have a severe adverse impact on saltwater intrusion processes in coastal aquifers. In this study we hypothesize that a natural mechanism, identified as the “lifting process” has the potential to mitigate or in some cases completely reverse the adverse intrusion effects induced by sea-level rise. A detailed numerical study using the MODFLOW-family computer code SEAWAT, was completed to test this hypothesis and to understand the effects of this lifting process in both confined and unconfined systems. Our conceptual simulation results show that if the ambient recharge remains constant, the sea-level rise will have no long-term impact (i.e., it will not affect the steady-state salt wedge) on confined aquifers. Our transient confined flow simulations show a self-reversal mechanism where the wedge which will initially intrude into the formation due to the sea-level rise would be naturally driven back to the original position. In unconfined systems, the lifting process would have a lesser influence due to changes in the value of effective transmissivity. A detailed sensitivity analysis was also completed to understand the sensitivity of this self-reversal effect to various aquifer parameters.

Impact and interest:

16 citations in Scopus
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16 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 42002
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: saltwater intrusion, sea-level rise, coastal aquifer, climate change, confined aquifer, unconfined aquifer
DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2011.06.006
ISSN: 0309-1708
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > NUMERICAL AND COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS (010300) > Numerical Solution of Differential and Integral Equations (010302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering Modelling (090702)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Advances in Water Resources. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Advances in Water Resources, Volume 34, Issue 10, (October 2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2011.06.006
Deposited On: 16 Jun 2011 15:36
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2013 01:01

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