Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 10, pp 3827–3837 | Cite as

Assessing the saltwater remediation potential of a three-dimensional, heterogeneous, coastal aquifer system

Model verification, application and visualization for transient density-driven seawater intrusion
  • Marc WaltherEmail author
  • Lars Bilke
  • Jens-Olaf Delfs
  • Thomas Graf
  • Jens Grundmann
  • Olaf Kolditz
  • Rudolf Liedl
Thematic Issue


This paper evaluates the remediation potential of a salinized coastal aquifer by utilizing a scenario simulation. Therefore, the numerical model OpenGeoSys is first validated against analytical and experimental data to represent transient groundwater level development and variable density saline intrusion. Afterwards, a regional scale model with a three-dimensional, heterogeneous hydrogeology is calibrated for a transient state and used to simulate a best-case scenario. Water balances are evaluated in both the transient calibration and scenario run. Visualization techniques help to assess the complex model output providing valuable insight in the occurring density-driven flow processes. Furthermore, modeling and visualization results give information on the time scale for remediation activities and, due to limitations in data quality and quantity reveal potential for model improvement.


Groundwater modeling Density-dependent Saltwater intrusion OpenGeoSys Model validation benchmark Transient calibration Scenario simulation Remediation potential Visualization 



The authors acknowledge the funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF Number: FKZ 02WM1166, IWAS), and by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts of Baden-Württemberg (AZ Zu 33-721.3-2). The authors are grateful for the sincere cooperation of the Omani colleagues from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Muscat. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their time and effort to read and comment on the manuscript increasing impact and quality of the publication.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (AVI 91629 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (AVI 32425 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Walther
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lars Bilke
    • 2
  • Jens-Olaf Delfs
    • 3
  • Thomas Graf
    • 4
  • Jens Grundmann
    • 5
  • Olaf Kolditz
    • 6
  • Rudolf Liedl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Groundwater ManagementTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Environmental InformaticsHelmholtz-Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Institute of GeosciencesChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu KielKielGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Environmental Physics in Civil EngineeringLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Hydrology and MeteorologyTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  6. 6.Applied Environmental Systems AnalysisTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany

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