Reduction of saltwater intrusion by modifying hydraulic conductivity

O. D.L. Strack, L. Stoeckl, K. Damm, G. Houben, B. K. Ausk, W. J. de Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We present an approach for reducing saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers by artificially reducing the hydraulic conductivity in the upper part of selected areas by using a precipitate. We apply a previously presented analytical approach to develop formulas useful for the design of artificial barriers. Equations for the location of the tip of the saltwater wedge are presented and verified through a sand-tank experiment. The analysis is capable of computing discharges exactly, but requires the Dupuit-Forchheimer approximation to compute points of the interface between flowing fresh and stationary saltwater. We consider a vertical coastline and boundaries in the freshwater zone of either given discharge or given head. We demonstrate in the paper that reduction of the hydraulic conductivity in the upper part of a coastal aquifer will result in a decrease of saltwater intrusion, and present analytic expressions that can be used for design purposes. The previously presented analytical approach can be applied to design systems to reduce saltwater intrusion caused by pumping inland from the zone that contains saline groundwater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6978-6988
Number of pages11
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • analytic solution
  • coastal aquifer
  • groundwater flow
  • interface flow
  • mitigation
  • saltwater intrusion


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