Numerical modelling of the impacts of sea level rise on seawater intrusion in unconfined coastal aquifers
Hussain, Mohammed S.
University of Exeter, UK
This study presents the application of a density-dependent finite element model to simulate the transient effects of sea level rise (SLR) on seawater intrusion (SWI) in a conceptual case of unconfined aquifer. The model considers both the unsaturated and saturated flow conditions. To model the natural process of SLR, a time-dependent boundary condition is used to define the hydrostatic head imposed by seawater at the coastal boundary where the effect of the gradual rise in the sea level with time is considered. The specified values of SLR are chosen, in the range of that predicted by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), for five different periods of time in the current century (from 2014 to 2100). The results indicate that a considerable advance in SWI can be expected in the coastal aquifers until the end of century. The rising of sea level is followed by the lifting of the groundwater table, especially near the shoreline, which gradually declines towards the inland boundary. The effects of spatial variations of the shoreline slope on SWI under SLR condition are also investigated. The results highlight that the flatter slopes of the shoreline intensify the landward process of seawater intrusion.
Copyright © 2014 the University of Exeter.
Proceedings of the 22nd UK Conference of the Association for Computational Mechanics in Engineering (ACME2014),2–4 April 2014,Exeter,UK