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The Importance of Data Acquisition Techniques in Saltwater Intrusion Monitoring

Abstract

A detailed vertical characterization of a coastal aquifer was performed along a flow path to monitor the seawater intrusion. Physico-chemical logs were obtained by both open-borehole logging (OBL) and multilevel sampling technique (MLS) via straddle packers in piezometers penetrating the coastal aquifer of the Po River Delta, Italy. The open borehole logs led to a satisfactory reconstruction of the extent of the fresh-saltwater interface but provided a misleading characterization of the distribution of redox environments within the aquifer. On the contrary, good fits between sedimentological, stratigraphycal and physico-chemical data were obtained using the straddle packers devices. This study demonstrates that, within coastal shallow aquifers evenly recharged by irrigation canals, the simple and economical OBL technique can lead to misleading results when used to characterize density dependent groundwater stratification but is deemed adequate for preliminary assessments of the saltwater wedge location.

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Acknowledgments

Raffaele Pignone, Luciana Bonzi and Lorenzo Calabrese from Geological Survey of Emilia-Romagna Region are acknowledged for their technical and scientific support. Umberto Tessari and Enzo Salemi from Earth Sciences Department of the University of Ferrara are thanked for the grain size analysis. The authors wish to thank Mitchell Dean Harley (University of Ferrara) for his kind contribution in improving the English text.

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Correspondence to N. Colombani.

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Mastrocicco, M., Giambastiani, B.M.S., Severi, P. et al. The Importance of Data Acquisition Techniques in Saltwater Intrusion Monitoring. Water Resour Manage 26, 2851–2866 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-012-0052-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-012-0052-y

Keywords

  • Coastal aquifer
  • Groundwater quality
  • Seawater intrusion
  • Hydrochemistry
  • Multilevel sampling