Predictive Simulation of Seawater Intrusion in a Tropical Coastal Aquifer

U. A. Lathashri, A. Mahesha

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The solute transport in a tropical, coastal aquifer of southern India is numerically simulated considering the possible cases of aquifer recharge, freshwater draft, and seawater intrusion using numerical modeling software. The aquifer considered for the study is a shallow, unconfined aquifer with lateritic formations having good monsoon rains up to about 3,000 mm during June to September and the rest of the months almost dry. The model is calibrated for a two-year period and validated against the available dataset, which gave satisfactory results. The groundwater flow pattern during the calibration period shows that for the month of May a depleted water table and during the monsoon month of August a saturated water table was predicted. The sensitivity analysis of model parameters reveals that the hydraulic conductivity and recharge rate are the most sensitive parameters. Based on seasonal investigation, the seawater intrusion is found to be more sensitive to pumping and recharge rates compared to the aquifer properties. The water balance study confirms that river seepage and rainfall recharge are the major input to the aquifer. The model is used to forecast the landward movement of seawater intrusion because of the anticipated increase in freshwater draft scenarios in combination with the decreased recharge rate over a longer period. The results of the predictive simulations indicate that seawater intrusion may still confine up to a distance of approximately 450-940 m landward for the scenarios considered and thus are sustainable.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD4015001
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering (United States)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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