Simulation of Saltwater Intrusion into Coastal Aquifer of Nagapattinam in the Lower Cauvery Basin using SEAWAT

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The groundwater that represents 30.1% of the global freshwater supplies is at risk of being contaminated by saltwater intrusion. Saltwater intrusion is the induced flow of seawater into freshwater aquifers. Saltwater intrusion can occur due to natural processes as well as over-extraction of groundwater from coastal aquifers. Growing urban populations in the coastal regions and thus a higher demand for freshwater, emphasise the importance of proper management of these aquifers and prevention of saltwater intrusion by over-extraction. Numerical modelling is a useful tool in helping hydrologists to understand and predict how saltwater intrusion occurs in coastal aquifers. There are various numerical models that can predict groundwater flow and contaminant transport such as SUTRA, SEAWAT, FEFLOW and MODFLOW. These numerical models are based on the governing equations of groundwater flow and contaminant transport. In this paper, the extension of saltwater intrusion into the coastal aquifers of the Nagapattinam coastal region, Tamil Nadu has been investigated by modelling the region using SEAWAT engine in Visual MODFLOW.

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... To analyze the damage caused by sea-level rise to groundwater and soil more thoroughly, it is necessary to perform comprehensive research on seawater infiltration in coastal aquifers and soil salinization. Studies of seawater intrusion into groundwater due to sea-level rises have been conducted by many researchers using variable-density flow and solute transport methods (Sherif and Singh 1999;Oude Essink 2001;Paniconi et al. 2001;Sherif and Hamza 2001;Narayan et al. 2007;Werner and Simmons 2009;Pool and Carrera 2010;Oude Essink et al. 2010;De Louw et al. 2010;Chang et al. 2011;Loáiciga et al. 2012;Carretero et al. 2013;Wassef and Schüttrumpf 2016;Masciopinto and Liso 2016;Van Duijn and Schotting 2017;Dunlop et al. 2019). ...
... For example, Dunlop et al. (2019) used SEAWAT to simulate seawater intrusion in the Cauvery lowlands in India. Masciopinto and Liso (2016) used analytical solutions to assess coastal groundwater development due to climate change and sea-level rises. ...
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In this study, the applicability of the composite model for assessing seawater intrusion and soil salinization in coastal aquifers due to climate change was investigated. In this approach, flow in the saturated zone of a coastal aquifer is simulated using a three-dimensional saturated–unsaturated transport model and flow in the unsaturated zone between the surface and groundwater level is simulated using a one-dimensional model in the vertical direction. Long-term sea-level predictions obtained using the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios were applied for computing the sea-level rise for 91 country-managed reclaimed areas in the Republic of Korea. Composite results were obtained and analyzed for seawater intrusion and soil salinization due to sea-level rise. In the results of groundwater and soil salinity in all 91 reclaimed land, the increasing rate of groundwater and soil salinity in the RCP 4.5 scenario was 13.5% and 10.4%, respectively. In the RCP 8.5 scenario, the increasing rate of groundwater and soil salinity was 14.1% and 11.1%, respectively. The groundwater level increased to 0.41 m in the RCP 4.5 scenario and 0.51 m in the RCP 8.5 scenario. The results for two representative reclaimed land areas in the Heungwang and Deokchon districts were examined in detail. The composite analysis revealed that widespread damage could be caused by sea-level rise in the reclaimed land and that seawater intrusion in many regions will accelerate groundwater salinization over time. Moreover, the reclaimed land areas were characterized in terms of watershed size, presence of ponds, water levels of the ponds, and pond locations. In reclaimed land located in small watersheds, the groundwater recharge area was smaller than in land located in larger watershed areas. Consequently, the seawater in small watersheds penetrated further inland. Ponds with water levels higher than the sea level effectively prevented seawater intrusion into groundwater. If the water level of a pond is similar to or lower than the sea level, it indicates that seawater has already penetrated a large part of the aquifer. The composite model developed in this study seems to be one of the simulation methods that can be applied when simulating saturated and unsaturated zone to a large number of sites. Also, the study results could be used to establish and implement a long-term comprehensive plan for water resources at the national level, considering seawater intrusion due to climate change and providing a basis for establishing countermeasures against future seawater intrusion.
... In the past 8 years, most of the growers have abandoned fertilizer broadcasting practices for more efficient application techniques such as banding of granular fertilizer or localized application of liquid fertilizers using knife applicator. Fertilizers with a high salt index can lead to an increase in soil EC with cations such as Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ and sodium (Na + ) and anions such as chloride (Cl¯), SO 4 2¯, bicarbonate (HCO 3¯) , and carbonate (CO 3 2¯) (Dunlop et al., 2019;Havlin et al., 1999;Mao et al., 2016;Vargas et al., 2015). ...
... The increase in EC and salt levels in the soil solution by applying CS and AS has been previously documented (Dunlop et al., 2019;Havlin et al., 1999;Machado et al., 2014;Mao et al., 2016;Vargas et al., 2015). However, many of these studies did not investigate the implications of application rates of CS and AS on the exchangeable cations in soils with high Na + content or those subjected to saline water irrigation, as in northeast Florida. ...
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Irrigation water with high electrical conductivity (EC) compromises the sustainability of agricultural soils. Calcium sulfate (CS) or gypsum is commonly used on removal of soluble ions such as sodium (Na), however, large applications of CS can affect soil pH, EC, and nutrient availability to plants. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of CS and ammonium sulfate (AS) rates on the soil pH, EC, and exchangeable cations in a salt-affected agricultural soil. Samples from the 0-20 cm soil depth layer were collected from an agricultural soil reported to have low potato yield due to high EC irrigation water. Soil was incubated with rates ranging from 0 to 4000 kg ha-1 of CS and 0 to 600 kg ha-1 of nitrogen (N) using AS. The treated soil was incubated for 60 d at 25 ºC and moisture was maintained at 60% of soil field capacity. After incubation, the soil was analyzed for pH, EC, Na, manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn). Increasing rates of CS resulted in a small decrease in soil pH and a significant linear increase in soil EC, while the application of AS linearly reduced the soil pH and quadratically increased soil EC. The application rate of 200 kg ha-1 of N as AS resulted in a decrease of soil pH from 5.9 to 5.2, while the EC increased from 1.3 to 3.0 dS m-1. Extractable Na increased linearly with the application of AS due to its effect on the soil pH. The soil extractable Mn and Zn were not affected by the application of CS. Applications of AS resulted in a linear increase in soil extractable Mn and Zn concentrations, respectively. Results from this incubation study suggest that the use of large rates of CS for consecutive years may further impair soil conditions for cropping in areas with high EC in the irrigation water.
... Examples of this research on groundwater resources and coastal aquifer modeling can be found in the studies such as: Rejani et al. (2008), Luyun et al. (2009), Abdullah et al. (2010), Chang et al. (2011), Trichakis et al. (2017, Banihabib et al. (2017), Akbarpour and Niksokhan (2018), Dunlop et al. (2019), Aswed El Ahmed et al. (2018, Xu et al. (2019), Zeinali et al. (2020b), Sowe et al. (2020), and Ranjbar et al. (2020). ...
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Groundwater is one of the most valuable water resources in the world in terms of quantity and quality. Therefore, their protection as an important issue should be considered by the operating managers. Among the types of existing groundwater aquifers, the coastal aquifers need more protection because they could be contaminated by salt in the result of seawater intrusion. Their protection is a priority based on an optimal and comprehensive management model. Increasement of demands in these areas, especially in recent years, requires sustainable and optimal management as one of the main objectives for long-term operation in the future. In order to meet this purpose, a simulation-optimization model of Bandargaz-Nokandeh coastal groundwater system that located in the north of Iran was proposed by the employment of the Groundwater Modeling System (GMS) numerical model and the Non-Dominate Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II (NSGA-II) multi-objective evolutionary optimization algorithm. In this study based on the quantitative simulated groundwater model; two managerial issues have been examined; including the control of water-table drawdown and sustainability of extraction from the wells in this aquifer. By combining these two models and implementing them, optimal withdrawal scenarios which examines different aspects of the study objectives, have been extracted. Regarding the decision-making methods of Simple Additive Weighting (SAW), Gray Relational Analysis (GRA), and Berda Aggregation method (BAM), the best scenario was determined among the points located on the optimal trade-off curve. The results show that implementations of management strategies to create a sustainable development of the Bandargaz-Nokandeh coastal aquifer, has led to a 48.45 percent decrease in water withdrawal. Also, the comparison of the groundwater table level (GWTL) under the two existing and optimal operating conditions shows a 29.54% reduction (monthly average) in the area of aquifer that contain drawdown in the GWTL. This reduction varies from 1.43% in October 2011 to 59.22% in September 2012. Based on this optimal operation policy, the consequences of excessive withdrawal, and more than the natural capacity of the aquifer, could be compensated. Besides that, in order to the sustainable development of the aquifer can be controlled the amount of water extracted from operation wells.
... For this purpose, groundwater monitoring wells of different depths were set and groundwater samples were collected to obtain basic data for analysis and discussion. Dunlop et al. (2019) studied that the extension of saltwater intrusion into the coastal aquifers of the Nagapattinam coastal region, Tamil Nadu has been investigated by modelling the region using SEAWAT engine in Visual MODFLOW. Nguyen et al. (2019) recognized that the need to apply both incremental and transformative changes and select adaptation pathways which allow for continuous change or that are reversible in order to avoid lock-ins and address future challenges. ...
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for the stable securing of water resources for farming and residential purposes, the embankment, preventing the tidal action and intrusion of seawater into the river, have been constructed in the mouth of many major rivers in Korea. The Seomjin River is one of the major rivers without embankment in their mouth and had been famous for the biodiversity and overall environmental health. However, the brackish water zone in the Seomjin River has been gradually extending upstream due to the factors such as extracting aggregate and dredging in the channel, reclamation of the river mouth, and the depletion of runoff discharge from watershed. The saltwater intrusion extended upstream has resulted in the problems such as abrupt changes in ecosystems and environmental conditions over the brackish water areas. In this study, the extent of salinity intrusion has been estimated with Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) model for the total reach of the Seomjin River with the length of 78 km (from Gurye Gauging Station to Yeosu Tide Station, including the endpoint of the Seomjin River). The antecedent rainfall events has been applied to the established model for calibration and verification of the model. In order to consider the effect of the dam construction and resulting changes in runoff characteristics of watershed, the flow duration analyses have been conducted for the cases of before and after the construction of Juam Dam. The results show that the construction of dam and conveying water over the basins result in the depletion of the streamflow, and the depletion of discharge from watershed extend the range of salinity intrusion about 1 km upstream.
Saline intrusion is a problem that mostly affects coastal aquifers around the world, either owing to anthropic and/or natural factors. The Barreiras Aquifer, which is located on Brazil's northeastern coast and of an unconfined hydraulic nature, is subject to this due to a water demand increase. This aquifer is located in an area structurally controlled by neotectonic activity. Increased complexity occurs in the form of variations in saturated thickness, hydraulic conductivity and exploited flow rates. This study aimed to construct a numerical model of dependent density flow for the Barreiras Aquifer using the SEAWAT software (USGS) and simulate saline intrusion over 20 years of pumping wells that currently exploit approximately 750 m³/h. The results can contribute to local hydrogeological management and assist managers. Simulation results with variation of recharge between dry and rainy periods and reduction of well exploitation flow rates were also obtained. The two main local faults, Boa Cica and Tabatinga, striking NW-SE and NE-SW, respectively, were simulated in a calibrated transient hydrogeological model as zones of high hydraulic conductivity (conduits) as well as in the inverse form (barriers) and offered a better fit considering the faults as zones of relatively higher hydraulic conductivities and preferred pathways for saltwater intrusion progression. A two-dimensional resistivity cross-section was used to constrain the electrical property of the NW striking fault, whether in the form of a resistive anomaly or conductive anomaly. The interpretation of the 2D geoelectric model is consistent with the conductive geoelectric anomaly associated to the Boa Cica Fault, where its transtensional nature favors wider saline contamination.
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Saltwater intrusion risk assessment is a foundational step for preventing and controlling salinization in coastal regions. The Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) is highly affected by drought and salinization threats, especially severe under the impacts of global climate change and the rapid development of an upstream hydropower dam system. This study aimed to apply a modified DRASTIC model, which combines the generic DRASTIC model with hydrological and anthropogenic factors (i.e., river catchment and land use), to examine seawater intrusion vulnerability in the soil-water-bearing layer in the Ben Tre province, located in the VMD. One hundred and fifty hand-auger samples for total dissolved solids (TDS) measurements, one of the reflected salinity parameters, were used to validate the results obtained with both the DRASTIC and modified DRASTIC models. The spatial analysis tools in the ArcGIS software (i.e., Kriging and data classification tools) were used to interpolate, classify, and map the input factors and salinization susceptibility in the study area. The results show that the vulnerability index values obtained from the DRASTIC and modified DRASTIC models were 36–128 and 55–163, respectively. The vulnerable indices increased from inland districts to coastal areas. The Ba Tri and Binh Dai districts were recorded as having very high vulnerability to salinization, while the Chau Thanh and Cho Lach districts were at a low vulnerability level. From the comparative analysis of the two models, it is obvious that the modified DRASTIC model with the inclusion of a river or canal network and agricultural practices factors enables better performance than the generic DRASTIC model. This enhancement is explained by the significant impact of anthropogenic activities on the salinization of soil water content. This study’s results can be used as scientific implications for planners and decision-makers in river catchment and land-use management practices.
Geophysical methods are laborious for monitoring the extent of the seawater intrusion (SWI) in coastal aquifers and water quality over time. However, the data-based approach can be valuable to overcome this challenge by predicting the chloride concentration and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) using physical parameters as inputs. To this end, four ML models were developed according to four combinations of input variables using 176 and 37 samples related to the coastal aquifer of Chaouia in Morocco for the training and validation processes, respectively. Results revealed that the Stochastic Gradient Descent for linear regression (SGD), Artificial Neural Network (ANN), k Nearest Neighbors (k-NN), and Support Vector Machine (SVM) have acceptable to good performances in predicting the chloride (with r in [0.84,0.97], RMSE in [1.74, 2.67]meq.L⁻¹, and RBIAS in [-11,-9]%) and SAR ( with r in [0.86,0.90], RMSE in [1.02,1.1] meq0.5.L−0.5, and RBIAS in [13,18]%) during the validation phase using electrical conductivity as input. The uncertainty analysis has shown that the distribution of the model errors during the validation phase is Gaussian (small standard error), indicating the model stability. Besides, the ANN and SGD models are the most accurate and stable models of 95% confidence bands of error, 1.39 meq.L⁻¹ and 0.52meq0.5.L−0.5 for predicting the chloride concentration and the SAR, respectively. Such results provide new insights to nowcasting the SWI trend and water quality in coastal aquifers, as the input variable is measurable in real-time by sensor technologies. Overall, the implementation of these models is useful for the prediction of the SWI trend and water quality in other coastal aquifers.
Increasing saltwater intrusion in the Barguna aquifer due to unplanned groundwater abstraction is a concern for the people of Barguna district, Bangladesh. A sustainable groundwater abstraction strategy capable of confining saltwater concentrations in the aquifer within acceptable limits is required for the Barguna aquifer system. In this study, a regional-scale integrated simulation-optimization (S–O) approach was used to prescribe an optimal groundwater abstraction strategy for the aquifer. The flow and transport processes were simulated by a calibrated and validated numerical simulation model using the available hydrogeological data. The simulation model was then used within the integrated S–O based management model to evolve ideal groundwater abstraction patterns to restraint saltwater intrusion in the study area. Computational efficiency of the management model was achieved by using a Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline (MARS) based meta-model emulating the density dependent salinity transport processes of the study area. The developed MARS-based emulators were then externally linked with a Controlled Elitist Multiple Objective Genetic Algorithm (CEMOGA) as a replacement of the numerical model. The study area comprised of a set of production wells for abstracting groundwater for beneficial purposes. Barrier extraction wells placed along the coastline were also considered as a management option to control saltwater intrusion hydraulically. Grey Relational Analysis was utilized as a quick decision-making tool for selecting a relatively better solution from a large number of non-dominated solutions from the Pareto front. The proposed MARS-CEMOGA based saltwater intrusion management methodology was capable of obtaining accurate solutions for optimal groundwater abstractions from a combination of production and barrier extraction bores in a real-life coastal aquifer system. This study demonstrates the efficiency of the MARS meta-model, together with an integrated S–O approach, to solve real-life complex coastal aquifer management problems.
Coastal areas are densely populated due to associated socioeconomic benefits, and therefore have higher demand for freshwater. This ever-increasing demand for freshwater can be met by coastal aquifers, which act as giant reservoirs of freshwater. Excessive and unmanaged pumping from coastal aquifer allows saltwater to flow inward encroaching the voids created by pumping of freshwater. This phenomenon is called saltwater intrusion. To stop saltwater intrusion, an optimal pumping strategy needs to be adopted. Simulation models are generally linked with an optimization algorithm to develop optimal pumping strategy for management of saltwater intrusion. Sharp interface based simulation models are often used which are computationally inexpensive but lacks in prediction accuracy, as it does not incorporate the effects of dispersion and diffusion. Density dependent simulation models include the effect of dispersion and diffusion, but have very high computational budget in evaluating an optimal pumping strategy. To overcome above mentioned limitations a new methodology is developed, where a density-dependent model is used in conjunction with a sharp interface model to derive an optimal density ratio, such that interface obtained using this density ratio implicitly accommodates the effect of dispersion and diffusion in a sharp interface model. The performance of the developed methodology is evaluated for three hypothetical scenarios of saltwater intrusion, and in densely populated coastal city of Puri in India. The performance evaluation results show the applicability of the developed methodology for management of saltwater intrusion while maximizing freshwater pumping from coastal aquifers.
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Coastal freshwater resources are commonly under high risk of being contaminated from seawater. The main processes that affect seawater intrusion are groundwater overexploitation, land use change, and climate change effects. In this context coastal lagoons represent the more sensitive environments prone to seawater intrusion. Numerical modelling is a useful tool to understand and predict seawater intrusion. In this study, a three-dimensional SEAWAT model is employed to simulate the seawater intrusion to coastal aquifers of Variconi Oasis (Italy). The present simulation was divided into a calibration and a validation model, then the model was used to predict the salinization trend up to 2050. Results show the role of the sea in salinizing the beach front, while the retrodunal environment is characterized by transitional environments. Future seawater intrusion scenarios considering only climate data showed no significative differences in respect to the actual situation. The same happens considering also a low sea level rise prediction. On the contrary, the worst scenario (high sea level rise prediction), depicts a quite different situation, with a saline intrusion in the Variconi oasis that will severely affect the fragile transitional ecosystem. This modelling framework can be used to quantify the effects of climate changes in similar coastal environments.
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To investigate the extent of seawater intrusion in the Liao Dong Bay coastal plain, China, a numerical model for variable-density groundwater flow and miscible salt transport was developed. The SEAWAT code was used to solve the density-dependent groundwater flow and solute transport governing equations. The simulation was conducted for 55 months from October, 2004 to April, 2009. The numerical model was calibrated by the hydraulic heads measured in April, 2009. Using the calibrated model and the same hydrogeological conditions in 2004, the extent of seawater intrusion prediction was conducted for the next 40 years. The results show that the extent of seawater intrusion area will increase in all geologic layers with nearly 6.2 km in the upper Quaternary aquifer and 4.3 km in lower Quaternary aquifer for 40 years. In the Minhuazhen group aquifer, the maximum speed of seawater intrusion is 62.2 m/yr. Therefore, some protection of the freshwater aquifer from seawater intrusion in the Liao Dong Bay coastal plain is imperative.
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This paper presents the results of the investigations, driven by different techniques, including environmental tracers and geophysical methods, in the aim of better understand the causes of the current salt-water intrusion in the Pontina Plain, in the south of the Lazio Region (Italy). In the last 50 years many investigation campaigns have been carried out to evaluate the evolution of salt-water intrusion. This is an area with a strong man-made residential and tourist impact and, in the some cases, it is characterized by intensive agricultural practices. Therefore, it can be affected not only by salt-water intrusion, but by the salinization of its groundwater also due to other factors. All these factors have led the Pontina Plain to a groundwater situation which makes the groundwater resource management and the planning of their future exploitation very difficult.
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The coastal plain aquifers in Sultanate of Oman are suffering from seawater intrusion due to huge water deficit in the coastal communities thereby seriously deteriorating the groundwater quality. Among other options in arid countries like The Sultanate, one of the viable one is the use of treated wastewater to recharge the coastal aquifers. This option is viable because of the availability of tertiary treated wastewater from the treatment plants managed by Haya Wastewater Company, Oman. In the present study MODFLOW for groundwater flow is implemented and calibrated in one of the most important coastal plain aquifers in Al-Batinah region, Sultanate of Oman. The calibrated model is then used to study the effect of treated wastewater injection into the aquifer on groundwater levels. It was ascertained that the available treated wastewater could be used as an effective option to defy seawater intrusion into this region by raising groundwater table.
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The Gaza Coastal Aquifer (GCA) is the major source of water in the Gaza Strip. The GCA is a transboundary aquifer, shared by approximately 600 Israeli wells and more than 3000 Palestinian wells. Recent studies show noticeable deterioration in aquifer water quality: chloride, nitrate, sulfate, and fluoride concentrations exceed the maximum contaminant levels in most of the wells in the Gaza Strip. Many agricultural wells are no longer used due to high salinity. This high salinity is an indication of saltwater intrusion, which appears mainly in coastal aquifers due to excessive pumping. This study is an attempt to determine the impact of pumping on the hydraulic head at the coastline of the Gaza Strip.
Conference Paper
Saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers is a global issue, exacerbated by increasing demands for freshwater in coastal regions. This study investigates into the parametric analysis on saltwater intrusion in a conceptual, coastal, unconfined aquifer considering wide range of freshwater draft and anticipated sea level rise. The saltwater intrusion under various circumstances is simulated through parametric studies using MODFLOW, MT3DMS and SEAWAT. The MODFLOW is used to simulate the groundwater flow system under changing hydro-dynamics in coastal aquifer. To simulate solute transport MT3DMS and SEAWAT is used. The saltwater intrusion process has direct bearing on hydraulic conductivity and inversely related to porosity. It may also be noted that increase in recharge rate considered in the study does not have much influence on saltwater intrusion. Effect of freshwater draft at locations beyond half of the width of the aquifer considered has marginal effect and hence can be considered as safe zone for freshwater withdrawals. Due to the climate change effect, the anticipated rise in sea level of 0.88 m over a century is considered in the investigation. This causes increase in salinity intrusion by about 25%. The combined effect of sea level rise and freshwater draft considered indicated significant increase in saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers up to 57%.
Seawater intrusion was studied in a monitoring well field, located in western coastal area of Buan, Korea using groundwater chemistry and ionic ratios. Most of the study area is paddy fields apart from 200–2,500 m from the coast. The groundwaters affected by the seawater intrusion featured high levels of C1 and TDS, which are the simplest common indicators for the seawater influence. The TDS showed highly positive correlation with the other major parameters except for nitrate. High levels of NO3 at some monitoring wells indicated nitrate pollution of groundwaters due to anthropogenic origin such as septic effluents or chemical fertilizers. Based on the piper plot, it was inferred that the groundwater salinization occurred via mixing and cation exchange reaction between two end members (fresh or less affected groundwater and the seawater). Beside of the major chemical compositions, it was demonstrated that ionic ratios would be useful to delineate seawater intrusion and they include HCO3/Cl Na/Ca, Ca/Cl, Mg/Cl and Ca/SO4. Cluster analysis based on these ratios produced an equivalent result to that of using the major chemical compositions. Finally, to differentiate causes of the high salinity in groundwaters between anthropogenic origin (excessive groundwater use) and natural phenomenon (seawater intrusion wedge), consecutive monitoring of groundwater is required for multi-years.
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