Saltwater Intrusion

Saltwater intrusion is the movement of saline water into freshwater aquifers, which can lead to contamination of drinking water sources and other consequences. Saltwater intrusion occurs naturally to some degree in most coastal aquifers, owing to the hydraulic connection between groundwater and seawater. Because saltwater has a higher mineral content than freshwater, it is denser and has a higher water pressure. As a result, saltwater can push inland beneath the freshwater. Certain human activities have increased saltwater intrusion in many coastal areas, most importantly groundwater pumping from coastal freshwater wells. Water extraction drops the level of fresh groundwater, reducing its water pressure and allowing saltwater to flow further inland. Other responsible influences include navigation channels or agricultural and drainage canals, which provide conduits for saltwater to be brought inland, and sea level rise. Saltwater intrusion can also be worsened by extreme events like hurricane storm surges.


Read more about Saltwater IntrusionHydrology, Effect On Drinking Water, Ghyben-Herzberg Relation, Modeling, Mitigation

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Aquifer - Saltwater Intrusion
... sandy) aquifers near the coast, the thickness of freshwater atop saltwater is about 40 feet (12 m) for every 1 ft (0.30 m) of freshwater head above sea level ... the New Jersey Coastal Plain aquifer, have problems with saltwater intrusion as a result of overpumping ...
Saltwater Intrusion - Mitigation
... Saltwater intrusion is also an issue where a lock separates saltwater from freshwater (for example the Hiram M ... In this case a collection basin was built from which the saltwater can be pumped back to the sea ... Some of the intruding saltwater is also pumped to the fish ladder to make it more attractive to migrating fish ...