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Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm (KTH) (2005)

Groundwater-Seawater Interactions : Seawater Intrusion, Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Temporal Variability and Randomness Effects

Prieto, Carmen

Titre : Groundwater-Seawater Interactions : Seawater Intrusion, Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Temporal Variability and Randomness Effects

Auteur : Prieto, Carmen

Grade : Doctoral thesis 2005

Université de soutenance : Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm (KTH)

Résumé
Fresh groundwater quality and availability in coastal areas is affected by seawater intrusion into coastal aquifers, and coastal water quality and ecosystem status may be significantly affected by groundwater pollutants that are transported into coastal waters by submarine groundwater dis-charge (SGD). This thesis uses an overall regional perspective for investigating : i) seawater intru-sion and its possible control in sustainable coastal groundwater management ; ii) SGD and its relevant quantification as one interacting part among the diverse main regional pathways of freshwater and tracer/pollutant inputs from land to sea ; and iii) the integrated system functioning of both i) and ii) as main components of the same coastal groundwater system. Results show that intensive pumping rates may be maintained for a long time before major re-gional seawater intrusion problems are recognized by too high salinities in pumped groundwater. After such late recognition, pumping wells are no longer useful and a common strategy of mov-ing groundwater pumping further upstream from the coast only increases the extent of the salt-water intrusion zone into the aquifer. An alternative strategy may be to control seawater intrusion through artificial groundwater recharge, for instance by sufficiently treated wastewater, which may considerably reduce long-term trends of salinity increase in pumped groundwater, even for small artificial recharge rates compared to pumping rates. In general, account for natural spatial-temporal variability and randomness may be essential for relevant prediction of groundwater dynamics for management purposes. Spatial and temporal randomness effects, however, may not be additive, but rather largely overlapping, with either spatial or temporal randomness being the dominating part that must be accounted for in predictive groundwater dynamics calculations. Aquifer depth is identified as an important control parameter in this context, yielding much greater temporal randomness effects in shallow than in deep aquifers. Combined simulation results suggest a simple, approximately linear regional relationship between total SGD and its hydrologically determined freshwater component. Tidal oscillation may signifi-cantly affect such linear dependence of steady-state SGD, but primarily for low SGD conditions. High SGD appears to depend mainly on a dominant freshwater component, which effectively counteracts density-driven flow of seawater into the aquifer and thus decreases also effects of sea-level oscillation on the seawater component of total SGD. Comparative analysis between different SGD estimation methods in different reported high-SGD regions of the world indicates possible anomalously large regional SGD estimation from tracer concentrations in coastal waters, by confusing different main pathways of groundwater flow and pollutant inputs to the sea.

Mots clé : Seawater intrusion, submarine groundwater discharge, coastal groundwater management, coastal zone management, temporal variability, temporal randomness

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