Water Resources Management

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 861–876 | Cite as

Coastal Aquifer Management Based on the Joint use of Density-Dependent and Sharp Interface Models



In pumping optimization of coastal aquifers, the evaluation of the objective function and constraints using density-dependent models is overwhelmed by complex and time-consuming numerical simulations. To address those cases where the available density-dependent model runs are very limited, due to excessive computational burden, an efficient optimization strategy is developed. The proposed methodology uses an efficient sharp interface model jointly with a complex density-dependent model in an evolutionary optimization algorithm. While most evaluations are based on the sharp interface model, the density-dependent model is selectively called to evaluate promising solutions and to improve the predictions of the sharp interface model through the adaptive modification of the saltwater-freshwater density ratio. The method is tested for pumping optimization problems in confined and unconfined coastal aquifers with multiple pumping wells. The optimal solutions are compared to those obtained by density-dependent as well as by sharp interface optimization alone. Under a very restrictive computational budget, the best feasible solution is attained in less than 25 density-dependent model runs for two optimization problems of 10 and 20 decision variables. The results indicate that this optimization method leads to good feasible solutions and that an improved estimation of optimal pumping rates can be achieved within a limited computational budget. The method could also stand as an efficient preliminary exploration of the optimal search space, to provide good feasible starting points for the implementation of more comprehensive methods of coastal aquifer management.


Sharp interface models Density-dependent models Pumping optimization Computational budget 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

The authors declare that the present manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration and it has not been published previously.

Conflict of interest

The authors would like to declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Reclamation Works and Water Resources Management, School of Rural and Surveying EngineeringNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece

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