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|2009 ||Lenkopane, Mothei, Werner, Adrian D., Lockington, David A. and Li, Ling (2009) Influence of variable salinity conditions in a tidal creek on riparian groundwater flow and salinity dynamics. Journal of Hydrology, 375 3-4: 536-545.|
While recent studies have revealed that tidal fluctuations in an estuary significantly affect groundwater flows and salt transport in the riparian zone, only seawater salinity in the estuary has been considered. A numerical study is conducted to investigate the influence of estuarine salinity variations on the groundwater flow and salt dynamics in the adjacent aquifer to extend our understanding of these complex and dynamic systems. Tidal salinity fluctuations (synchronous with estuary stage) were found to alter the magnitude and distribution of groundwater discharge to the estuary, which subsequently impacted on groundwater salinity patterns and residence times, especially in the riparian zone. The effects of salinity fluctuations were not fully captured by adopting a constant, time-averaged estuarine salinity. The modelling analysis also included an assessment of the impact of a seasonal freshwater flush in the estuary, similar to that expected in tropical climates (e.g. mean estuary level during flood significantly greater than average), on adjacent groundwater flow and salinity conditions. The three-month freshwater flushing event temporarily disrupted the salt distribution and re-circulation patterns predicted to occur under conditions of constant salinity and tidal water level fluctuations in the estuary. The results indicate that the salinity variations in tidal estuaries impact significantly on estuary-aquifer interaction and need to be accounted for to properly assess salinity and flow dynamics and groundwater residence times of riparian zones.
| Professor David Lockington, Professor Ling Li|
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|Links: ||Article DOI - full text from publisher|
|Keywords: ||Estuarine salinity, Riparian zones, Groundwater, Numerical experiments, Seawater intrusion|