Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 137–158

Salt Water Intrusion in a Three-dimensional Groundwater System in The Netherlands: A Numerical Study

  • Gualbert H.P. Oude Essink

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010625913251

Cite this article as:
Oude Essink, G.H. Transport in Porous Media (2001) 43: 137. doi:10.1023/A:1010625913251


Salt water intrusion is investigated in a coastal groundwater system in the northern part of the province Noord-Holland, The Netherlands. Density dependent groundwater flow is modeled in three-dimensions with MOCDENS3D. This computer code is a version of MOC3D (Konikow et al., 1996) that has been adapted to simulate transient density-driven groundwater flow. Results from the model suggests that in this Dutch hydrogeologic system a severe and irreversible salinisation is already occurring. Within a few tens to hundreds of years, the salinity of the shallow aquifer is estimated to increase substantially. This salinisation process is a result of human activities such as the reclamation of the low-lying areas during the past centuries. Without changing the present boundary conditions, seepage into the low-lying areas will decrease slightly because of predicted increases in groundwater salinity. However, the rate in salt load through the Holocene aquitard into the low-lying areas will increase significantly due to an increase in salinity in the shallow aquifer. In addition, a relative sea level rise of 0.5 m per century will intensify the salinisation process, causing an enormous increase in salt load in all low-lying areas in this part of The Netherlands.

salt water intrusioncoastal aquifersea level risenumerical modelingMOCDENS3Ddensity-driven groundwater flowNoord-HollandThe Netherlands.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gualbert H.P. Oude Essink
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Hydrology, Department of Theoretical Geophysics, Institute of Earth SciencesUniversity UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands