Environmental Earth Sciences

, 78:669 | Cite as

Study on the influence of seawater density variation on sea water intrusion in confined coastal aquifers

  • Jin Na
  • Baoming ChiEmail author
  • Yan Zhang
  • Jiale Li
  • Xue JiangEmail author
Original Article


The coupled influence of seawater density and groundwater level variation plays an import role in seawater intrusion in confined coastal aquifers. In this study, the effects of seawater density variations along with changing hydraulic gradients were investigated by conducting laboratory experiments and numerical simulations. Parameters of salinty and density in the experiments are based on the references related Bohai sea of China. The results indicate that the higher density of saltwater facilitates the seawater intrusion into the aquifers at the bottom and accelerates the circulation at the changing hydraulic gradient. Even slight variations in saltwater density can change the steady-state conditions in a confined aquifer, which should be considered when attempting to control the intrusion of seawater. Moreover, the influence of seawater density variations on transient salt-wedge dynamics was also examined in these experiments. Numerical modelling was simultaneously performed to mimic the behaviour of SW using the TOUGH2/EOS7 package. The simulated results were generally consistent with those obtained from the experiments. This study is conducive to further understand the mechanism of seawater intrusion, thereby leading to effective management of the problem in coastal areas.


Seawater intrusion Seawater density Saltwater wedge Laboratory experiments Numerical simulation 



This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0402803-02), The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 41807194, 41902263 and 41807208), Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province of China (2018CFB258), State Key Laboratory of Groundwater Protection and Utilization of Coal Mining (SHJT-17-42.9).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentYangtze UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Institute of Disaster PreventionSanheChina
  3. 3.School of Environmental StudiesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina

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