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

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Abstract

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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